Poor old church! Tucked away behind a farm and not used for many a year. What could be going on in such a place?
Remote and forgotten it may be but it's not as out of touch with the present century as the photo suggests. These are members of Chiltern West Gallery Quire who are there to raise money for The Friends Of Friendless Churches a small charity that cares for and preserves old and redundant churches like this one.
This blacksmith had some sort of rudimentary musical education and was therefore appointed the leader of the band. His book contained the versions of the hymns which were sung a century or two ago in my parish church. The book was found in a car-boot sale by one of the members of the Chiltern West Gallery Quire.
I was hoping to record a video of the band but the sound of the wind in the trees (and in the microphone, despite the windshield) made the recording just about unlistenable. So here's a link to The Marsh Warblers performing a West Gallery hymn, sensibly recorded indoors to give you some idea of the style and sound.
Meanwhile inside the church....
....the pews were pressed into service to display an exhibition of quilting by the Icknield Quilters.