The strange medieval beast (the gargoyle pictured at left) imaginatively recarved by the masons working on Holy Trinity Church, in Stratford-upon- Avon, England holds an important secret. It sits atop the church where William Shakespeare, the great dramatist and playwright, was baptized, worshiped and was buried. It was in this church where he first heard the Biblical language that influenced his work so fundamentally.
But this is not the gargoyle’s secret. Holy Trinity Church, set against a beautiful, lush backdrop is slowly crumbling – windows leak, deathwatch beetle has infested the wood and dry rot is rampant. The charity, The Friends of Shakespeare’s Church was founded in an effort to raise funds to restore the church. The Friends aim to raise £3.8 million to restore the church and they have already given more than £500 000 to restore the tower and spire, and part of the chancel roof and parapet. The organization is now turning their attention to the restoration of the windows in the clerestory, the upper stages of the nave and the historic gravestones of William Shakespeare, his wife and family. The Bard would be proud!
YOU CAN HELP!
Go to www.shakespeareschurch.org to find ways of donating to support the Friends, or join them.
OR, WHY NOT SPONSOR A GARGOYLE?
For $100, you can sponsor one of them, and receive a photograph and a certificate of sponsorship. E-mail the Friends at firstname.lastname@example.org for
This article first appeared in City Style and Living magazine Spring 2008 issue.