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touching place St Michael and All Angels, Barton Turf
'Therefore with Angels and | Archangels, and with all
the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious name, evermore praising
Thee...' Familiar words, every time Holy Eucharist is offered. Nowhere can bring
them to mind like Barton Turf, for when its new roodscreen was painted around
143(M0, it received the finest representation of the Nine Orders of Angels you
will meet anywhere.
Like earlier theologians,
Aquinas spoke of the Nine Orders in three hierarchies - Seraphim, Cherubim and
Thrones; Dominions, Virtues and Powers; Principalities, Archangels and Angels.
All are here portrayed: Powers, scourging a chained devil (monstrous, but not
M.R. James material); the six-winged Seraphim with his censer, reminding us of
Isaiah's vision; the armoured Archangel, holding his sword; the Cherubim, whose
wings and feathered body are covered in
What gave the artist his
vision we do not know, nor why he chose St Apollonia (holding pincers and tooth
aloft), St Sitha (complete with her keys) and tower-wielding St Barbara to
complete the twelve panels of the screen. They remind us that angels crop up at
key moments in the life of Our Lord, from the Annunciation through the Agony in
the Garden right to the empty Tomb, and will be the highlight of your visit to
this lonely, lovely, Broadland church.
Read 2 Kings 6.16: 'Fear not,
for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.'
Pray that our eyes may be
opened that we may see, like Elisha's companion; that God may keep his angels
watching over us to support us; and that one day our angel will come to fetch us
home to the Father in Heaven.
Map reference TG 343218