Our next stop was Hales which is said to be kin to Heckingham, the stone carving around the door perhaps being done by the same hand. But Hales church is a very different place. Like Heckingham it is set in the middle of nowhere. It's hard to imagine more than a few in it's congregation even in more godly times. Like Heckingham it is cared for by the conservation trust but seems to be subject to more vandalism. The window above the alter was broken and the chairs were pushed over. We liked it but it was little creepy. There were stairs up to a wooden balcony and we sat for little while wondering who/how it was used perhaps musicians like in"Under the Greenwood Tree" by Thomas Hardy. Just hypothesis, neither of us knew. We were able to have a good view of the quite impressive wall paintings from that vantage point. Particularly the rather fierce looking man painted larger than life size.
By the alter there's a sad stone for a six year old girl with a carved relief skull. And oddly a pair of little boots on the pedals of a small organ. As we were leaving we noticed masses of butterfly wings on the floor under the chairs, peacock and tortoiseshell. And a wooden cross was chucked on the floor too. There was definitely a discomforting vibe. No gentle prayer here I think.