St Peter’s Church, Cogenhoe
Summer Pilgrimage to the Church of St Mary in Warwick
and the Beauchamp Chapel, 6 August 2015
The sun shone on us Pilgrims as we got to know St Mary’s Church and St Nicholas’ Park. Half of the party had a guided tour of the church, followed by a trip up the tower for those with lots of ‘puff’. Dorothy said (between puffs!) that the view was amazing.
The young people and those of us who are ‘young at heart’ (!) sat for a few minutes to take in the differences between this town centre church and our village churches. Tessa and I were taken up with the sheer space and the pillars seeming to stretch up for ever, the enormous windows and the light they allowed in. Johnny focussed immediately on the dog that was walking about on the organ screen - I don’t think Geoff would be too chuffed to have a dog on one of his organs! The others noticed the huge floral displays and the unusual candles on the choir stalls.
We were all fascinated by the figures carved around the sides of the tombs of both Thomas and Richard Beauchamp. They are called ‘weepers’ and were carved so that there would always be people mourning Thomas and Richard. The Beauchamp chapel is beautiful with both the tomb of Richard Beauchamp and that of Robert Dudley on an enormous plinth with what looks like a gold cage over him. It is called a herse and is designed to hold a cloth cover which is only removed when mass is being said for that person.
There were lots of animals to find in the chapel; there were bears, creatures that looked like a Phoenix but were actually Griffons, a swan, dogs and sheep.
The young people each completed two brass rubbings and then designed and coloured a piece of bunting to be part of the Beauchamp’s Beautiful Bunting which is being made to celebrate the restoration of the Beauchamp Chapel, built in the 15th Century.
We enjoyed our picnics by the river and then made our way via the playground to St John’s Museum where the young people experienced a lesson in a Victorian classroom – an object lesson on shells. It made them appreciate their teachers at school!