Winster Church

I entered Winster Church, near Windermere, with low expectations. Clearly a Victorian construction, it promised little by way of interest. Now I visit any place of worship that deigns to open, but I have a fondness for the old, the curious and the unusual. Winster, despite appearances, still manged to maintain my attention.

Attached at regular intervals along the walls were scripture texts, painted on to boards of wood. The font and general clumsiness of the text clearly predated the more exacting Victorians; one panel attributed itself to 1796. Other boards recorded preferred tunes for certain metrical psalms, while another illustrated a psalter. They looked rather naïve, home-spun, amateurish or vernacular. Yet they were, in my estimation, the best feature of the church. This is not just because they are the oldest bits, and not because they exhibit something strangely curious, but because they publish so readily and freely God’s precious word.

When the Bible is held in the highest regard, it does not matter if the music is low quality, the building plain, the congregants unlettered. For having greeted me with so many portions of God’s word, I was delighted to acquaint myself with Winster and I thanked God for those who put paint to wood.

Do not judge a church by the plainess of its folk or the crudeness of its brick: by Jesus Christ and His written word shall it rise or fall.