What tremendous weather we have been blessed with today. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and it is hot out there. I have just returned from a short walk in my lunch break. I walked along by the shallow River Misbourne and watched the minnows darting about beneath the surface. Then I ascended the hill where I walked between the yellow flowering oil seed rape – the scent of which was delicious – stopping for a while at the 1930s stone memorial at the top. This tall column in a wild garden of its own behind high hedges is inscribed with the following words: “The Noble Army of Martyrs Praise Thee”. Underneath there continues a short paragraph:
“In the shallow of depression at a spot 100 yards left of this monument seven Protestants, six men and one woman were burned to death at the stake. They died for the principles of religious liberty, for the right to read and interpret the Holy Scriptures and to worship God according to their consciences as revealed through God’s Holy Word. Their names shall live for ever.”
It is followed by the name of each of them. I stood in that garden for a little while, pondering England’s history. I could not stay for long, however, because I had to get back to work. So I walked on along the baked clay pathway across the top of the hill and then passed into the shade of the forest, descending back down the hill. The unceasing whine of the traffic in the valley below impacted on the sense of peace, but still it was a pleasant and welcome break. Coming into the town again, I wandered through the churchyard, where someone asked me if I was the minister and then if I could lend them 20p. Two minutes after that it was back to work for me.
But hark! What a jolly splendid day!