Here lyeth the body of Sir Robert Christopher

At St Wilfrid’s Church in Alford, Lincs, is a rather grand pair of seventeenth-century statues lying down over a tomb. The text reads:

Here lyeth the body of Sir

Robert Christopher Kn[ight]: who

finished this life on the 16 day

of february 1668 in the 63

yeare of his age And of Dame

Elizabeth his wife who dyed

on the 21" day of November

1667, in the 50th yeare of

her age

Yet see how attractive they are, how young their looks, how supple their appearance. 63 and 50 they ain’t: the sculptor has depicted them in their youth rather than their dotage, in the early summer rather than their cold winter. There may be something of their pride on display here: they could not keep their good looks any more than their lands and great reputations when they died. Sir Christopher and Lady Elizabeth were social climbers, but death levelled them. Only what they did with Jesus the Christ will determine now their greatness and their beauty. 

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8, NKJV