The church in St Cleer may be dedicated to St Clarus, the missionary saint who fled to France to escape the importunate advances of an amorous noblewoman, but at first glance, that seemed to be one of the few nods that masculinity gets within its ancient walls. We did not know at the time that the village was on the Mary Line, the feminine counterpart of the St Michael ley, but we ought to have guessed, given the plethora of women that gazed at us from the stained glass, the carvings and the textiles.
Appropriately enough, it was a woman who greeted us as we entered, turning off the vacuum cleaner so that we could explore in peace, and sharing with us snippets of history and local knowledge and directions to the holy well we wanted to visit before leaving the village.
If ever a church were to celebrate the…
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