Besse and its 11th century church welcome choir
ON a warm summer's evening the church at Besse, in the Dordogne, welcomed the choir from the neighbouring village of Villefrance du Perigord.
Besse is nestled away in the oak and chestnut woods of the area, and as the sun began to slowly set it drew a quiet, reverential audience into the church.
Walking up the stone steps to the church takes you through an archway topped with a cross, whilst around the doorway are a collection of stone carvings probably dating from the 11th century.
The archway depicts scenes of the Redemption, with Adam and Eve, St Michael slaying the dragon, and if you look to the right of the archway two small mushrooms.
These have nothing to do with the Redemption but are believed to be the stone carver's signature, signifying the workman's connection to the forests of the area.
Inside and as the choir of Villefrance du Perigord progressed through its programme of music, from classical pieces to favourites from popular French films, their voices rolled around the strong stone walls.
The deep history of the church in Besse resonating with the sweeping highs and lows of the choir.