If you spend any time at all in the churchyard – tending graves, wandering– or in All Saints church itself you will know what an oasis of peace the church is in the village. I find it’s rare to be there alone for long – many come, alone or in company, in silence or with chatter, just to be in this holy place, where ‘Prayer has been valid’ as T S Eliot says in ‘Little Gidding’. Another poet, R S Thomas puts it like this, in Kneeling:

 

Moments of great calm,
Kneeling before an altar
Of wood in a stone church
In summer, waiting for the God
To speak; the air a staircase
For silence; the sun's light
Ringing me, as though I acted
A great role. And the audiences
Still; all that close throng
Of spirits waiting, as I,
For the message.
 Prompt me, God;
But not yet. When I speak,
Though it be you who speak
Through me, something is lost.
The meaning is in the waiting.

 

All Saints offers a place for prayer. Of course, anyone can pray anywhere – but sometimes we are helped by the invitation of the place itself. All Saints offers a reminder to pray. The sound of church bells calls people to worship. If you are not joining those in church, it can be a reminder to slow down, to be thankful, to remember and if you wish, to pray.

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