St Peter’s Church, Merton

Sometimes it doesn’t really matter where you start. And it doesn’t need to be a long hike. There can be as much to enjoy and savour by going slow, taking your time on a warm Sunday afternoon. The first snowdrops and daffodils can be seen and the sky has that sense of the spring coming.

It was pleasant to just sit on the grass here, and draw the church from both sides. There is not a symmetry of windows or design, but there is a fabulous round tower, possibly the lower part being Saxon, the mass of the church Norman. It would be good to find a detail of the history of the church, of what’s known about the architecture and the building.

While sketching I noticed that the lead from the roof was missing, replaced with black plastic sheeting which flapped at times in the uplift of the breeze. Stolen apparently in the night, about £2,000 worth. It’s not much. The money will have been quickly spent. But here is a lovely church which has been spoiled and which, without further fund raising, will now face an uncertain future. As usual, it is always the stupid people who cause the biggest problems.

It would be fascinating to understand the history of all of the carved heads; when they were done, the purpose, the lives of the masons. And is the damage to some the result of Reformation, Civil War, petty vandalism or weathering?