MOST RECENT POSTS

In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Othona: Chapel by Night




Othona: Chapel by Night

Darkness had laid its hand on the Saxon Shore
as nine of us gathered in those four bare walls,
sole remnants of a larger enterprise of Cedd.

Small pools of candlelight gave a shadowy glimpse
of his seventh century community at worship;
while outside in the inky night, the same stars glistened overhead
as wouldhave guided him fourteen centuries ago.
The Great Bear pointing to Arcturus and The Pole,
The Milky Way in its sweeping, dazzling bow.

The light of a billion, billion suns,
having travelled further
than most human minds can conceive:
yet they, the stars and we share
a place in the creation
of a God whom the Chapel’s pilgrims and tourists may perceive
shows his love throughout this startling universe
and invites us, with  Cedd and his flock, to belief.

Another poem celebrating the wonder of the night sky can be found at The Glorious Stars of Night’s Dark Sky

Original Introductory Notes
I've just returned from a short stay in the Othona Community (Link below), planning to refine some of the work-in-progress for this blog. The 7th Century Chapel of St Cedd adjacent to the community is just about to have its roof repaired - at a cost of £75,000. Scaffolding was due to be erected but on the first night of my stay a small group of guests and core community members were able to gather in the Chapel for after-supper worship by candlelight. It is near-impossible to distil the atmosphere of such an occasion but the following poem emerged, delaying the other writing I had planned to do, but too emotive to set on one side for another day.

Picture at top of post
The interior of the 7th Century chapel built by St Cedd as part of a monastic community utilising stone and other building material from the earlier Roman Fort called Othona. Set into C20th altar are three stones In the centre from Iona, on the left from Lindisfarne and on the right from Lastingham representing the amazing sweep of Celtic Christianity from Iona in the North West of the British Isles to Bradwell/ Othona in the South East, thus celebrating the mission activity of St Columba (Iona); St Aidan (Lindisfarne) and St Cedd (Lastingham and Othona).

You can find the link for The Othona Community which offers hospitality all the year round HERE

You can also find another poem about the Chapel on a windy day (not unusual on the Essex Marshes!) HERE


And HERE you will find a poem of another late evening celebration in a similar chapel on the Island of Iona.

And other poems, meditations and songs with a SCIENCE & FAITH theme can be accessed HERE

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'