Adam & Eve, Heptonstall

In the quaint Yorkshire village of Heptonstall is a stone tablet erected above a doorway depicting a rather sour-faced couple. He has a sword and she brandishes a fan. Although there may just be a hint of a smile upon their carved faces, both sets of eyes are rather severe. This is a couple not to be crossed; her fan promises as a good clout as his sword a cut. The way both appear to grasp a tree-like object between them makes them resemble Adam and Eve.

In a sense, every couple is a version of our first parents. We are each called to subdue our corner of the world, to populate it, to avoid evil knowledge and the serpent’s wiles. Like Adam and Eve, we are also called to put aside our cheap coverings of fig leaf, and be clothed by Christ, the slaughtered Lamb who was killed that we might be saved. And may we do all of this with rather more charm and grace than H & E, our two formidable friends of Heptonstall.