St Nicholas' Church, Walcot

St Nicholas’ Church in the Lincolnshire village of Walcot has to be one of my favourites. It sounds somewhat cliched, but to enter that nave, one steps back in time. From the ancient font to the arches, arcades and pillars, one could be on an authentic set for an historical drama. There is a wealth of medieval and early-modern graffiti, and several squints allowing worshippers located  in the north chapel to observe the affairs of the altar (penultimate picture).

The benches are from the 1300s, and their ends host some wonderful carvings of flowers and ears of wheat:



Admirers of old churches kid themselves if they think that there have been no acts of restoration or reconstruction over a building’s thousand-year existence. Thus, there is one feature of St Nicholas’ which is unashamedly ‘new’, at least relatively speaking. Dating from the nineteenth, or early twentieth-century is the altar, made of a pleasing, varnished timber. Although it is recognisably post-medieval, it fits.

We Christians believe that we were saved and rescued by a past event - the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, almost 2000 years ago. This really is ancient history, and yet it is so sparklingly fresh and new. When one believes in Jesus for the first time and ‘applies’ His blood and mercy to the soul, it is an act of rebirth, of newness, of re-creation. The church is old and crumbling, its people antiquated and old, but its message is always fresh and new. 

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:5, NKJV