The Haunted Church

 

The silent church now stands erect like a frozen sentry.

But no throng will ever pass across its gaze. So bleak, so wary.

Once in another era this chapel had been purpose built for prayer,

To joyfully proclaim forever the perennial word of our Creator

That would and could only save for now and heretofore.

  

Sadly this silent church remains rather abandoned today.

Yet, on a plinth set high above the last tier, tilts a plaster statue of an unnamed saint.

 

Once all processions of prayer had walked his way without complaint.

But today all who will arrive at the church to bow and confess in tremor

Will discover that its rather dilapidated oaken door

Is now bolted and chained never again to open. No more!

 

Once under a radiating religious rainbow of washed glass,

Situated high above an adorned altar-stone of fading brass,

Trembled many a shy bride and groom who upon sacred ground,

Mumbled solemn matrimonial vowsso sincere so profound.

 

And did not upon those carved upright timber benches,

Sit young soldiers of past wars, silently praying. Then dying in long lost trenches?

 

And did not assorted young wives and aged widows,

Fixed in a forgotten time profess their carefree matrimonial vows

To an Almighty all seeing God,

That few could or would ever try to understand the saving power of atoning Blood.

 

But search if you will into the sanctuary, now sheathed in perpetual darkness,

There you will detect scorched pewter votive candleholders,

That will never yet again wait and watch, for the exploding flame of a solitary Bryant and May match.

 

And is not that the muted toll of a Lutheran bell heard in mock deterioration?

Once it summed the morning flock to prayer and petition.

 

Now, from the silent sanctuary never again will be heard, the whispered Prayers of lost demands. All are now like a sleeping lonely guard.

Sadly no priest will ever again chant a liturgical matin.

Sadly no congregation will ever again to him humbly rejoin.

And no lasting, lingering, mortal sin,

Will ever be personally confessed in this church again.

And finally by the ancient, scratched initialled lychgate,

That once witnessed a gathering of upright wooden coffins so proliferate,

Stands today in a broken line, assorted colourful rolls of carpet?

For what was once the much loved parish church of St. Bridget,

Is now Mr Khans popular discount floor-covering emporium.

 

PS

 

Tonight the church/warehouse is closed tight.

 

Today deep pile fleck and Persian carpets of many colours were eagerly bought

Mr Khan has now locked the oaken door and hurried home to his family and the Koran.

 

And all past Christian prayers, and pleas are nothing more than a stifled groan,

That perhaps will abide, now and forever in the faded vault of this lost inner city church.

 

"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of Heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands" (Acts 17:14.)

 

GPB, August 2004

(All Rights Reserved)

31st-July-2017