Albion, Art, Books, Don and Wen, Life

Dear Don: ‘The Dark Virgin’…

hawk hill nick 246Dear Don…

Thought you might like to see what has been happening at the Virgin of the Ridge since last we were there. I can’t believe the change in the place since we wrote about it in The Initiate and Heart of Albion!

As I pulled up by the hedge in our usual parking spot, the first thing I saw was a red kite wheeling round the tower! I probably didn’t even need to go in after seeing that… and half expected it to be locked. The kite had vanished… as they do. The tree stump with the nails is nowhere to be seen now.

hawk hill nick 216The outer door was shut and I had little hope, but lo and behold, it was unlocked. Of course, I glanced across at the postcards… I couldn’t not really, could I? The dark image has been replaced by a picture of a rainbow over the church! Much more appropriate… especially after the bit in the intro to Heart of Albion!

“And there are colours now…
Rainbow colours…
As I come out…
A Red-Kite flies
Left to right across the graveyard…”

Once inside, you could see why. Nothing has changed… it looks exactly the same as every other time we have been there. But now, the whole place feels right… feels as it should for a Templar church and the heart of a village for 800 years.

hawk hill nick 210I wandered around the place… the Saxon font, the medieval and reformation wall paintings with the Tree of Life over the arch… the lovely little window of Mary in niche in the bell tower…you know, that tiny one in the south wall. Odd, her hair is unbound, though she holds the crown… I wonder which Mary it really is supposed to be? I laid out flat on the red tiles, pointing the camera up at the bell ropes… freezing, I have to say, in spite of the sunshine outside.

hawk hill nick 200The Bible on the lectern was interestingly open at Acts 1…. the bit about the Upper Room… In the chancel I finally had a good look at the 13th century piscina… it is unusual and there are feathers on the plaque in front of it. I managed some good shots of the windows and the medieval paintings in the embrasures too for once.

hawk hill nick 224Do you remember seeing the consecration crosses on the chancel arch there? Two, opposite each other on the pillars. I got a couple of shots as they look almost identical to some of the sacred geometry you’ve been working on for the new book. I’m busy with editing the story so far for that one and can’t wait to see what else you’ve done with it!

hawk hill nick 2441As soon as I came out of the church I heard the kite, looked up, and there it was… flying as low as you could wish against the sun. The camera zoomed skywards, but it was in no hurry and treated me to fifteen minutes of sheer delight! I did get some half decent ones amongst the hundreds of dark silhouettes. I’ll show you when you are here next week.

Oh, I nearly forgot… as I was getting back into the car, something fell at my feet… yes, another feather… but as I had just been watching its owner, I couldn’t resist!

In Loving Light,

P.S. Anu has the tennis balls at the ready….


Finding Don & Wen

Stuart France & Sue Vincent

Available via Amazon

and worldwide in paperback and for Kindle.

Two friends living hundreds of miles apart inadvertently begin to explore the magical and ancient landscape of Albion, delving into the symbolism hidden within mediaeval churches and piecing together the clues that appear to be left before them like a breadcrumb trail.

The correspondence within this book was written as their adventures began to unfold, recording and highlighting strange concepts and magical ideas.

Finding Don and Wen opens an inner door onto the workings of the journey of The Initiate, the first of nine books that tell the full story of what became a true quest, becoming a practical guide on how to listen to and interpret the voice of the living land and its history from a spiritual perspective.


Original front cover photograph by kind permission of our friend, Helen Glynn Jones,

author of The Ambeth Chronicles  at

The second book in the series, Joining Don and Wen,

is also now available in paperback and for Kindle