In no strange land
by Francis Thompson
The kingdom of God is within you
O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!
Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air -
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumour of thee there?
Not where the wheeling systems darken,
And our benumbed conceiving soars! -
The drift of puinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.
The angels keep their ancient places -
Turn but a stone and start a wing!
'Tis ye, 'tis your estranged faces,
That miss the many-splendoured thing.
But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry - and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob's ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.
Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry - clinging to Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water,
Not of Genesareth, but Thames!
Children arriving from cottage and farm,
From nearby hamlet as well.
A new hymn of praise opens the day
And the Vicar talks to them of Jesus,
Once a child like them.
The studious silence of little heads bent
over their work
In the classrooms with bright pictures on the walls -
Animals and birds and far-off things.
Then in the playground games and laughter.
Cheerful chatter as pupils champ their midday meal.
Later mothers, fathers and grannies wait and talk
Until the boys and girls emerge.
These, Lord, are some of the sights and sounds
of our school, Set in the heart of a village
Victorian gables nudging new neat boxes
Asphalt meeting grass and space all around.
Lord, let not rural schools become just an
Protect them from the ravages of planners and economists
For they are part of your precious gift to your rural people.
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which calls
The burial-ground God's-Acre! It is just;
It consecrates each grave within its walls,
And breathes a benison o'er the sleeping dust.
God's-Acre! Yes, that blessed name imparts
Comfort to those, who in the grave have sown
The seed that they had garnered in their hearts,
Their bread of life, alas! no more their own.
Into its furrows shall we all be cast,
In the sure faith, that we shall rise again
At the great harvest, when the archangel's blast
Shall winnow, like a fan, the chaff and grain.
Then shall the good stand in immortal bloom,
In the fair gardens of that second birth;
And each bright blossom mingle its perfume
With that of flowers, which never bloomed on earth.
With thy rude ploughshare, Death, turn up
And spread the furrow for the seed we sow;
This is the field and Acre of our God,
This is the place where human harvests grow!
Using your hand to pray
Your fingers can be used to bring to mind different things
to pray for.
this is the strongest digit on our hands.
We give thanks for all the strong
things in our lives; our faith, our homes and families,
the relationships that support and sustain us.
this is the pointing finger.
We pray for all those people
and things in our lives who guide and help us; for
our clergy, Mark& Clive and for all the members of the
South Wye Ministry team, including SWIM, for our friends
and relations, for all priests, teachers, doctors, nurses,
and for the emergency services
this is the tallest finger.
We pray for all the important
people who have power in the world; for our Government,
for all members of parliament and for local councillors,
for the Queen & the Royal Family, for all other world
leaders and their governments. Give them the wisdom to use
their power well.
this is the weakest finger on our hands. It can not do much
We remember the poor, the weak,
the helpless, the hungry, the sick, the ill and the bereaved,
especially those close to us. May your love and
strength comfort them and enrich their lives.
this is the smallest and the last finger on your hand.
We pray for ourselves.
God grant us the serenity
to accept the things we cannot change;
courage to change the things we can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Lord in your mercy
Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ
Here is a contribution
which Judy Young came across at her yoga class. '"It
isn't strictly a prayer but I find it helpful when trying
to focus on 'now' "
Why do I live in the moment
beyond when the moment I have is not past?
Why does my mind live in what might have been, when the mould
of my making is cast.?
Why do we live in perpetual ifs for the past or what might
Like falling asleep to reality now and living in faraway
Wake up to your moment, wake up to your now. Hold on to the
present and live.
Wake up to this joy, don't let life pass you by.
Wake up, it is time we must live.
Let us know if
you would like us to ask for prayers for anyone, or
if you have any prayers or thoughts you would like to share.
All contributions are
welcome. Please send them to us at our e-mail address:
or give to any member of the PCC