Revd Victoria and Andrew Ashdown share Morning Prayer from Sennen Cove, just a few miles from Lands End in Cornwall for Thursday 26th.
An edited version of the message from Andrew and Victoria given in this Morning Prayer.
I wrote in my my letter the week before last before we came away about about retreating, which you can do from home. I did put a rather good 30 day retreat on the facebook page. Do have a look at that because it’s not always possible to get away from home. Indeed it looks like we might not be able to get away from our homes at all very shortly. But it’s so important sometimes to get away and and spend some time groping with God and we are very lucky here (in Sennen Cove) in the presence of God’s beauty.
I think what’s also striking as we travel around places like this and on the fringes of the British Isles is is the presence of God. God’s presence not just in the nature itself, but the way through the ages a very strong sense of God’s presence that our ancestors had in these islands.
We visited ancient churches which are a thousand years old and there are still Christian sites from the fifth and sixth centuries in the area. This was a very Christian nation in the early days of Christianity when it came to this nation from Ireland and Scotland and a little bit later from from Kent and St Augustine.
That sense of faith permeated the landscape and still does but but less so these days and that’s the tragedy and one of the beauties of being able to come somewhere like this is is to remind ourselves not just of the awesomeness of God’s presence within the nature but actually of of how humanity has been aware of God through that nature and made the imprint in the presence of God present by the churches and the holy places and then and that prayer that is instilled in the environment.
VICTORIA The Christian people of the land, and that’s what we’re perhaps lacking in this country now, and I wonder as you say we’ve seen places right back to the fourth century of Christian presence here I wonder in another thousand years what Christian presence there will be actually living still. It’s it’s a worrying time that for Christians but for churches through this pandemic. It’s important not just to dwell so much on the social side of church. It’s true it’s lovely to get together. Of course it is we are all people who love to be with other people , but that’s not what church is about. Church is about the worship
It is about worship and I’ve wondered in this pandemic where I have been going into churches and seeing these empty buildings and being reminded by people I know quite well saying ‘oh well i’m not sure if we’ll come back to worship afterwards’ well if we who are faithful don’t come back to worship there will not be a church in this land to worship in.
These historic churches will remain empty buildings and they will get used for something else um and that faith will be lost. There is something incumbent upon us, actually a responsibility in our faith, not just to live it out personally in our own particular way we’re very good at that in the western world.
That’s not the way the Christian faith ever was it was never a private matter it’s a community of faith and if we as corporate individuals don’t take responsibility for continuing that faith both individually and corporately then we will lose it and this land will lose it; and that’s a frightening prospect for what what could be.