Peter Walker’s art installation The Leaves of the Trees is made up of 5,000 steel leaves with the word HOPE on each one. The impression is of autumn leaves fallen from the trees and scattered by the wind.
This reflective memorial to the effects of the pandemic was seen before the high altar and great screen of Southwark Cathedral over several weeks up to last Sunday.
Now pilgrims leaving from Winchester will find the same leaves before the cathedral’s high altar and great screen which inspired Southwark’s. The installation will remain until All Souls Day Tuesday 2 November.
Concern is being expressed in the Wey Valley area and nearby Alton in Hampshire over a proposed multi-million-pound incinerator near the Pilgrims’ Way.
The possible impact on visitors including walkers along the Pilgrims’ Way was highlighted during Thursday’s BBC South Today programme.
No Wey campaigners are calling for the plan to be decided by the Secretary of State ‘because of the serious long-term impact its potential approval would have on nationally important issues such as climate change’.
The planning application by Veolia is due to be considered by Hampshire County Council this autumn.
The incinerator, being called a waste-to-energy plant, with 260 foot chimneys would be visible to the south as you walk between Holybourne and Upper Froyle.
The site is less than half a mile away between the A31 and the railway.
The Final Review of Environmental Statement takes issue with the applicant by highlighting the potential impact on the Pilgrims’ Way, known locally as St Swithuns’ Way.
‘The proposal will significantly affect visual tranquillity from St Swithun’s Way,’ writes Fiona Sharman of Indigo Landscape Architects in a report for Hampshire County Council.
‘I would also consider that the scale of the proposal would evidently detract from one’s appreciation of key characteristics such as the ‘distinct flat valley’ landform as the proposal would be out of scale with the small scale valley characteristics in which it sits.’
The Little Gem pub in Aylesford has quietly reopened after being closed for ten years.
The tiny building dates from 1106 which is fourteen years before the birth of Thomas Becket. Prior to becoming a pub in 1968 it was a cafe. It is now Kent’s smallest pub.
Today the PW almost passes the door as it turns up Mount Pleasant from the church.
Maidstone brewer Goacher’s stepped in to save the pub which according to the Kent Messenger has ‘no pool table, no darts, no fairy lights, no jukebox, no TV screen, no games, and above all, no pretension at all’.
The inglenook fireplace is ready for a log fire in winter.
Tuesday 24 August is St Bartholomew’s Day and forty days after St Swithun’s Day.
It seems that global warming may have upset the old August pattern of consistent weather. Although the period which began in sunshine is ending in good weather there was a lot of rain in the middle.
However, there is a saying for today which suggests a dry autumn:
All the tears St Swithin can cry, St Bartholomew dusty mantle wipes away.
Swithun is associated with rain for apple trees and at this time of the year you will walk across fallen apples in various places on the PW in Surrey and through a lovely Kentish hillside orchard on the last day into Canterbury.
Canterbury Cathedral’s attractions once included an arm of Bartholomew as well as Becket’s shrine.
The Camino shell which has become the badge for other pilgrimages including Canterbury where you enter the cathedral by way of the door with a shell at the Christ Church Gate.
London’s main St James’s Day Mass is 24 hours early at noon on Saturday 24 July at St James’s Spanish Place W1 where Cardinal Vincent Nicholas will be the celebrant. But due to the virus there will not be the usual party afterwards.
***Churches dedicated to St James the Great on the Pilgrims’ Way are in Surrey where the path passes the door at Shere (14th-century glass in the east window) and nearby Abinger Hammer although here a visit to the church requires a diversion up to the Common.
***St James, patron of Spain, is one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus and brother of St John.
The Friends of Winchester Cathedral’s 90th anniversary festal evensong on Saturday looked back to St Swithun and the beginning of the cathedral .
The service, broadcast online to Friends unable to be present, included impressive camerawork featuring unusual views around the building.
After a procession to St Swithun’s shrine there were prayers of thanks invoking names we meet along the Pilgrims’ Way including Richard de Lucy, Richard Fox and Jane Austen.
Former BBC presenter and Friends Chair Bruce Parker laid flowers not only at the shrine but also on Swithun’s original outdoor grave. It was the translation to inside which gave rise to the forty days of rain or sun story.