Daybook, 11 January 2017


Something Beautiful, and Something Else:

As is well-recorded, I am a great lover of rural churches. This one, St-Just-in-Roseland in the parish of the same name in Cornwall, is especially lovely.

British legend has it that Joseph of Arimathea, whom tradition identifies as a tinsmith and tin merchant, came to Britain in the early years of the first century. Accompanying him was a young man from Nazareth. As this legend goes, Our Lord thus visited Britain in his lost years. This is the basis for William Blake’s romantic, counter-industrialist poem known as either “Jerusalem” or “And did those feet in ancient time,” which was set to music by Sir Hubert Perry during the Great War and became the patriotic anthem “Jerusalem”:

Inasmuch as Cornwall was one of the most significant tin mining sites in the world well into the 20th century, one version of this tradition holds that Joseph of Arimathea and Our Lord came to Cornwall on this voyage–and journeyed to the market town that was once where St-Just-in-Roseland now stands (other versions have them heading to Glastonbury, amongst other sites).

Whatever the historicity of the tale, this parish, a few miles south of the major Cornish city, Truro, it is very much a place I would like to visit:

(All photos from Wikimedia Commons)

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