This Sunday is Rogation Sunday, a day when the church left the building and beat the bounds. Led by the minister and church wardens, the parishioners would walk around the parish boundaries praying for God’s blessing on the whole area. It may have been that in the past there might have been some politically motivated origins to the tradition – using branches to mark the boundary in order to make sure no one encroached on your area. In the places where this tradition survives, however, walking the boundaries has become a positive way in which the church turns its focus outwards praying for the good of the whole community.
At this time, when we cannot use our church buildings, we have had to find ways in which we can turn our eyes outwards to the needs of our communities. As we engage with this new outlook on life, we begin to realise that church is not all about elaborate buildings and perfect ceremony, although these do help us connect with God. We are rediscovering that church is about the people of God. The church is here to help people through good times and bad, through worries and despair, through life changing events and day to day living. We are discovering: –
Our Buildings are Closed BUT the Church Remains Open.
Do not fret about your empty Church.
Silence holds the space holy
And always did.
She holds all things and mourns all things
She is in all things
She holds everything but her own
She knows each name, with no need to know her own.
Let Silence guard the stillness and the stones
While you care for the bereaved and those full of fear
That is your creaturely task.
Thanks to Margaret Jones our Faith and Policy Co-ordinator for sending me this extract from “Meditation on the closure of Churches” by Gilo which captures the essence of what we are discovering about Church in this seemingly altered reality.
The full meditation can be found at – https://www.smallpilgrimplaces.org/pages/news.php
With all my love and prayers