Between September 1665 and November 1666, in the village of Eyam, 260 people died of the plague, including a visitor who had come to sell cloth to the locals, but never left.
The figure comprised about three quarters of the population because the village had gone into voluntary quarantine in order prevent the plague spreading to surrounding communities.
We carry fear around with us. It is something we are born with.
It is said that people engage more readily with social media posts if they come with an image. I am not sure if this is a comment on a collective diminishment of intellect, attention span, or possibly a renewed penchant for the visual - because it is also said that our appreciation of the visual arts is actually waning.
Britain has been the laughing-stock of Europe for a couple of years, but I write this at a time when it seems in complete disarray, with government ministers campaigning like fury against each other.
The presenting issue is Brexit, but Brexit alone cannot explain the depth of hostilities.
THIS WAS the title of the Modern Church South West group day conference in Bath last month, led by Stephen Parsons, author of survivingchurch.org.
The seeds for this day conference were sown at the Modern Church annual conference in July 2017 when Stephen told some of us about his research on the subject.
It's one of those times when words can be not just unhelpful, but positively misleading.
If you're 'ex-vangelical', as so many people in my current parish are, it can be a real issue. Before you've even got to the end of the word, a negative emotional reaction has been evoked by the 'evangel' prefix.