Somerset is a lovely place to have a birthday. If my family had been here, it would have been perfect. We went to church with my aunt to her village church in Churchill and then had a walk through the Mendip hills that lie behind her house. We drove through this amazing gorge and past this giant rock outcrop where Augustus Toplady apparently sought refuge during a massive storm. It is alleged that this inspired him to write the words to the hymn “Rock of ages, cleft for me”. I love this hymn and was excited to be reminded of its words. Toplady had been the vicar of a local church in Blagdon which we walked past during the afternoon.
Ursula was following a walk written in a book of local walks and the author debunked this myth quite firmly. Don’t you hate it when this happens? Apparently he didn’t write the words to this hymn until a few years later when working in London and he wanted a hymn to go with his sermon. I am sure that he remembered being caught in that storm and seeking shelter behind that rock!
This walk took us through fields, along muddy tracks, through tiny villages, past churches, cute houses and through more fields. We walked amongst sheep and cows – it was delightfully rural. It was warm and sunny and I sang the words to Toplady’s hymn to myself as we walked.