Last night I watched the BBC4 history program about the Medieval Church, as I want to write a play about the history of St Mary's. It has gone through some amazing times in our history. I knew the theory that there was no protestant church or Church of England before the Reformation (Henry VIII having what is known in our house as a mega-strop about the Roman Catholic adherence to no divorce. He didn't do things by halves.) That means that St Mary's used to be a Catholic church, as it pre-dates the Reformation considerably, having parts of it built in the 13th century.
Last night was the episode on death and how the medieval world viewed life on earth as a tiny part of the eternal story. It still is, of course, but it goes against the grain these days to admit it. The summary they gave said that wealthy people had the advantage on earth, but were concerned about certain things that Jesus had said concerning the difficulty of entering heaven if you were rich. Therefore, they built hospitals and did good works in order that the poor beneficiaries would say masses for them and speed them on their way through Purgatory - the half way house between heaven and hell. The rich needed the poor for the afterlife and the poor needed the rich to help them in their life on earth. It was a symbiotic relationship.
Rain is coming. Better get the washing in.