Bible Verses at Hawkshead Church

I sometimes bemoan the lack of scripture found in Anglican churches. As these establishments are the most ancient and often located in the most visited places, the opportunity to hear about the gospel is significantly retarded. Not so at Hawkshead. Thanks to some seventeenth- and eighteenth-century churchwardens, the walls are awash with scripture verses.


In 1680, James Addison of Hornby was paid to clean the church walls and ‘peint 26 Sentances of Scripture ... and to border and flourish them.’  A local man, William Mackerath, repainted some of them thirty years later, adding some of his own, as well as a charming rendering of John 1: ‘And t’word was God’.  The fat-faced cherubs are typical of the time and must have made this ancient church rather fashionable.


I’m no fan of overly decorated ecclesiastic spaces; give me a plain chapel over a gorgeous temple any day. But if we must bedeck our meeting houses, let it be with verses of God’s word rather than anything else. A dull sermon or dry hymn might struggle to hold our attention, but a scrap of God’s word can offer us a veritable feast upon which to chew.