I caught this wonderful view of St Mary's Shenley this morning, looking over from All Saints' Loughton. I enjoy the views of Shenley you get from Loughton, since they remind me of the long history that these two communities share - set on either side of Watling Street.
The distance is tiny, but it wasn't that long ago that the villages regarded each other as "foreign parts". I used to know a lady from Loughton who married a Shenley boy. Even after sixty odd years she found it hard to think of herself as a local.
Actually there's been a lot of to-ing and fro-ing over the years and I'm constantly discovering new family links across the villages or hearing how people were born in one and moved to the other.
These days the two churches are pretty good partners and there are some really warm friendships across that Watling Street divide. I wonder if you could send a semaphore message between the towers...