Sunday, 20 April 2008


Almost 43 miles covered today, to visit the eleventh of the twelve outstanding English churches that I am aiming to reach by bike this year. This is St Michael's at Chenies in Buckinghamshire.

Intending no disrespect to the good people of Chenies, the church itself is pleasant enough, but no more remakable than most parish churches. I think Simon Jenkins included it among the top 1,000 on account of the monuments in the Bedford family mausoleum, which are apparently quite outstanding. He is perfectly entitled to do so, of course, and we understand that he tends to see churches as museums, but since the mausoleum is private, and rarely accessible by the general public, it seems a bit of an odd choice to me.

Nevertheless, the 12th century Aylesbury font is worth seeing, and it provided me with an excuse for a very pleasant outing. The weather was kind all day, and there was even some sunshine on the way back.

It has taken me three months to reach 11 out of 12 churches on my list, which equates to 92% of the total. The remaining one will involve the longest distance, and the most hills, so there is still 15% of the mileage, and 23% of the climbing to do; and then I will have to think up another quest.

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