A festive evening in Rip Van Winkle's church...
"On Sunday night, I was lucky enought to be at St James' at Cameley in Somerset - famously dubbed 'Rip Van Winkle's church' by Sir John Betjeman - where I joined over a hundred and fifteen people for carols and readings to mark the season. The stunning Grade I listed church looked even more beautiful than usual thanks to a tasteful dressing of candles and greenery, carefully arranged by the Friends who help us look after the building.
"The Friends at Cameley have a great approach to using their annual carol service to raise funds for the upkeep of the church, and whilst the carols are free to attend, participants give generously to the collection after the service and neighbouring Cameley Lodge is kind enough to provide mulled wine and mince pies afterwards at £5 a ticket, with the profits returning to the church. It really was a lovely evening, and I am very grateful to the Friends of Cameley Church for all their efforts."