Now, the thing that you have to remember whilst reading this is that I am unashamedly old before my time. Comes with the territory of having a Dad who was born in the same year as Martin Luther King Jnr and Anne Frank (sorry Dad, love you xo). Some of my fondest ‘staycation’ memories involve my Dad swerving off whatever B-road we were trundling along, all for the sake of a nice church that he’d seen.
At the age of 13, I unreservedly decided that life was unfair, Dappy from N-Dubz was my preacher man, and these ecclesiastical visits were a violation of my human rights (I was raised a Roman Catholic and so already went to see The Man once a week). So it’s still a surprise to me today that one of my favourite places to go on my days off is a church.
Admittedly, there are definitely weirder places to hang out but the thing is that I rarely actually go inside. If anything I think it makes me appreciate it more when I do venture in on a wet and windy day. The church feels used and loved even when it’s empty – kinda like the entire congregation just popped out for a cup of tea at Pam’s and would be resuming usual service shortly.
Alas, I spend most of my time at Masham Church in the graveyard – not lurking, because that would be frowned upon in society – but there’s a bench which I’m rather fond of. Also around 30% of the time I go because I’m upset and hormonal and people tend to avoid asking you what’s wrong when you cry in a graveyard. I like that. There was once a lady tending to a grave who began to converse with me about the weather. Naturally, I gave polite answers in between gasps and sobs whilst, in my mind, trying to create an elaborate rouse about which deceased relative I was crying over. Luckily, our conversation was limited to the weather although I’ve always felt guilt about my lack of enthusiasm in that conversation.
If you’re in the area and visiting I’d definitely recommend a visit to the church – hormonal or not hormonal. It’s part of the Masham Leaves Walk (http://bit.ly/2mAcG1W) which is a nice way to pass an hour or so and work up an appetite. The town is small but you can still grab a nice bite to eat – I’ve tried both The Bruce Arms and The Bay Horse and enjoyed the food greatly. If you’re still not fully convinced then Masham also has two breweries: Theakstons and the Black Sheep, both of which you can tour around. I’ve visited the Theakstons brewery; it was alongside a minibus full of Archaeology students after our third-year excavation nearby so I obviously enjoyed it but I’m still waiting for my beer tastebuds to kick in so I can visit and fully appreciate it. Still waitin’…