Paxtonvic’s Blog

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For Now – a poem for people that love old churches

For Now

In the mind’s eye, in the memory-store, for now
The church sets sail but stays where it was built,
Its anchor hooked into the parish-heart.
In the green yard, in the deep grass, for now
Each summer-tide swells up and leaves the dead
Untouched inside their plots of tilted earth.
In the flint nave, in the window-shafts, for now
The glassy saints grow limber with the sun
That ripples through their robes and walk again.
In the blind vault, in the dry hush, for now
The coffins hoard their argosies of dust
And darkness gleams as definite as light.
In the slow years, in the centuries, for now
The villagers arrive to load the ark
That saves their lives and settles here as home.

By Andrew Motion  ( formerly Poet Laureate)

commissioned by the Inspired!  Campaign initiated by English Heritage*

The Inspired! campaign was launched in May 2006, with the aim of making a case to Government for more support for those who manage and maintain historic places of worship. Five solutions were put forward, which English Heritage, Government and the denominations and faiths could collectively pursue in order to stem the rising costs of repairs and ensure a sustainable future for the buildings.
for more info go to:

This is All Saints Church in Sheepy Magna which received a large grant from English Heritage to re-roof the nave in 2005. I must be having an attack of nostalgia – Sheepy Church was one of five churches in The Sheepy Group I served in during the 2000’s – I walked up that path many times. Time is a mystery to be sure – I left there in October 2006 but it still feels like yesterday.
I went to bed much earlier last night and felt all the better for it today. So time now to hit the sack as they say. ( Im not sure who!)

January 27, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. This is my favourite poem about churches

    i am a little church(no great cathedral)
    far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
    -i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
    i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

    my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
    my prayers are prayers of earth’s own clumsily striving
    (finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
    whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

    around me surges a miracle of unceasing
    birth and glory and death and resurrection:
    over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
    of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

    i am a little church(far from the frantic
    world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
    -i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
    i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

    winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to
    merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
    standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
    (welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

    ee cummings

    Comment by Allrevedup | January 29, 2010 | Reply

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