Sunday, 27 May 2018

Croxby

All the churches where I take services are in small Lincolnshire villages but few villages are smaller than Croxby.  At the time of the Domesday survey (1086AD) it had a population of 36 but I doubt if it's as big as that today.  It's hard to find as the signpost trail runs out before the village is reached, and even when you find the village it is hard to find the church.


But look carefully and you will see a gap in the cow parsley, a gap in the hedge and through that gap there is a well worn path.  It will take some determination to find it but go up the thirteen uneven steps and you will find the most countrified church I have ever been in.  As I have worked in rural ministry for nearly thirty years that is saying something!


Those thirty six people listed in the Domesday Survey would have worshipped on this same site although nothing from earlier than 1100AD survives.  The church has been much altered over the years but it has been well loved.  The ceiling has been replaced recently but the lovely old font, pews and altar have seen countless generations come to worship God.

Today just six of us gathered (well over the Christian quorum of two or three!) and we used the old fashioned Book of Common Prayer.  

T S Eliot wrote of Little Gidding, Cambridgeshire

If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.

At Croxby I knew just what he meant.

5 comments:

  1. Plain, simple, very beautiful. Small country churches, like this one, say "Welcome" to me, in a way that no grand Cathedral ever does.

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  2. A very lovely place to sit peacefully and meditate.

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  3. What a lovely old place....

    It sounds like something out of a book... Find the path, find the break in the hedge, up the 13 old steps... So lovely...

    How wonderful that a small village like Croxby, still exists.

    Thank you for taking us, to it.

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