Amanda Russell Photography
Amanda Russell Photography
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The View from St Mary's

Aerial photography of Faversham, Kent from St Mary of Charity Parish Church. 

The View from St Mary's

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I wanted to capture close-ups of the spire of St Mary of Charity and aerial shots of Faversham, which could mean only one thing, shooting from the top of the church. A quick bit of picture research revealed a photograph showing people looking down from the roof, which meant it must be accessible. I contacted St Mary's and Catriona, the parish administrator very kindly agreed to take me up. 

The ascent began easily enough via a narrow, spiral staircase leading to the ringing chamber. I had never been in a ringing chamber before and we entered the room just as the soft, late afternoon light was filtering through the windows, catching the ropes. I could see threadbare patches in the carpet, worn out by the ringers' carefully timed yoyo-ing. On a ringing day the sound of pealing bells would fill the room but for now everything was silent. 

We climbed up a further flight of wooden steps to the bell chamber itself, the eight bells of St Mary looming above us. It was awe-inspiring to be up so close to them but this was also the most difficult part of the climb. I hoisted myself up and onto one of the bell's outer frames being really careful to balance my weight equally on both sides, otherwise the bell might chime. I needed both hands to do this and had to leave my tripod and extra lenses on a nearby ledge. As I climbed up, the bell swayed quite a bit and for a moment I thought it would ring my presence all over Faversham but thankfully it stayed silent and I managed to lift myself up to the final wooden ladder and through an over-head door on to the roof. 

Click the image below to view the whole shoot.