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Cheeky rascals at Holy Trinity


The friendlies selling tea, cakes, and scones.

It seemed to all be going on at Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Perhaps its most famous going-on is that it is where Anne and William Shakespeare are buried. I paid a “Concession” (old-age) price of one pound to get up to the front of the church with the tourist crowd to see the slabs under which the Bard and his wife are buried. The church also hosts concerts and plays.

In front of the church is a lovely shaded cemetery with benches and mostly unreadable moss- and lichen-covered tombstones, providing respite for travelers and the genealogist I met looking for Morris family names.

There is also a tearoom at the back of the church, complete with tables and chairs and the three lively women in the photo. The day I visited, they were selling cakes and “cheeky rascals” (four-inch-wide cookie-like scones decorated with almond-and-cherry faces, a take on the three-times-larger Fat Rascal, made famous at Bettys, a tearoom in York).

How much should go on at–or inside–a church? Just baptisms, weddings, and other official religious ceremonies? Or might famous pay-to-see tombs, concerts, plays, and cheeky rascals for sale help a church keep the common touch for everyone in the community . . . including a weary tourist getting handed a cup of tea by a friendly face?

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