Model Parish Church  PORCHES
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PORCHES:  Porches were constricted for the main entrance to the church  according to the convenience of parishioners; the majority have been built on the south western side of the nave.  The beginning ceremonies for baptisms and marriages may have been conducted at the porch.  Churching, mentioned by Margery Kempe (Ch. 82), the reception of a woman into the church after childbirth, was also located at the porch.  The practice was based on the events in the Gospel of Luke (2:22-24) describing the Purification of the Virgin who came to the Temple after the birth of Christ and offered a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.  The stone porches most commonly built in the 15th century have canopied  niches that once contained statues of saints.  Flushwork, mixing the  dark native flint contrasted with freestone, very often produced striking visual patterns as well as the possibilities of armorials and  inscriptions. 

3a East Harling, Sts. Peter and Paul, c. 1460, porch (to south)