Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Friday, 14 July 2017


One hundred and eight members of the congregation, clergy, choir and C-Club members of St Martin-in-the-Fields will gather together this weekend at Worth Abbey; the theme of the weekend is At the Heart, On the Edge. Jane Williams, Neil MacGregor, Tim Bissett, the Disability Advisory Group and many others from our community will be leading reflections, along with an evening of Great Sacred Choral Classics: Allegri Miserere in the Abbey Church with the Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields and Revd Dr Sam Wells. We hold both the congregation at St Martin's and the congregation at Worth in our prayers.

Here's my Thought for the Week for this week's Parish Newsletter at St Martin-in-the-Fields, which relates to the Parish Weekend:

The church at Worth Abbey, designed by Francis Pollen, is an incredible space; subterranean, circular and with a central lantern lighting the cavernous space.

In a poem written there during a past retreat, I wrote of this lantern as a channel for prayer and praise to reach God:

Down dimly-lit stairwells
into a cavernous immensity
of curved brick, concrete and darkness
to stand still, transfixed,
in silent expanse
focused on the glow
and gleam
of the white stone table
over which
the crucified Christ hangs
from concrete cross-beams.
Morning light softly
casting shadows,
bringing the dawn.
Monks move like shadows,
spectral figures flitting
between material pillars,
robes rustle rhythmically
and doors close echoingly
as they glide
to private devotions
and public prayer.
A zither sends its solitary note
to circumnavigate
the circuitous void
where every sound is magnified
and heard.
Dual voices lead
the hushed plainsong chant
that ascends.
Our simple psalm tones
rise like smoke, like incense,
as we are broken
and opened
by luminous harmonies.
The space and acoustic
act and appear as
the inside of a hi-fi speaker;
the lantern, like an industrial chimney,
funnels the aromatic incense
of prayer and praise
to tease and to please
the senses of God.

Whether we gather for worship this Sunday at Worth Abbey or at St Martin's, our praises will be a sweet aroma that will be received by and will delight God.


Gregorio Allegri - Miserere.

No comments: