[Today’s post is by John H. Parker, co-author of the newly released book, Abide With Me, published by New Leaf Press. This account is from the travels of John and his co-author/photographer, Paul Seawright.]

One of the phenomena associated with going to world-famous places or the sites of world-famous elements like the great hymns is that when you get there, the place seems so, well, unfamous.

Broadhembury, England

Broadhembury, England

Broadhembury is quaint and charming, but so are a lot of English villages. What make this one famous is its association with Augustus Toplady, composer of “Rock of Ages.”

Broadhembury Church

Broadhembury Church

Somehow you expect the place associated with a hymn you’ve sung all your life to be, well, spectacular somehow. Not so this little church. Augustus may have composed his hymn in the cleft of a rock in nearby Cheddar Gorge. Or it may have been born out of his feud with John Wesley.

Whatever, the whole fame thing is comfortably mollified by a sign on the front of the church :

Welcome to St. Andrews Church, Broadhembury.

Please close the door on entering and leaving.

Birds fly in the Church and cannot get out.

Thank You.

Have a safte journey home.

Most famous people and their homes are pretty ordinary after all.

Broadhembury residence

Broadhembury residence

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