CELEBRATING THE RICHNESS OF BEAUTY, SCIENCE and FAITH
- expressed in poetry, prose, meditations and simple image by Trevor Thorn and occasional guest contributors
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.
Sunday, 22 March 2020
Mothering Sunday/ Mothers’ Day
In the three parishes where my wife and I help a hard-pressed, part-time Vicar, during
this crisis, this small leadership team are going to be producing ‘one side of A4’ articles relevant to the time, the situation and sometimes words of encouragement.
Pam, my wife, who is a priest has written the first of these specially for today.
Mothering Sunday has always been one of my favourite festivals! As a child, it meant an especially nice tea! On ‘Mid-Lent’, ‘Mothering’ or ‘Refreshment’ Sunday my mother - who kept Lent faithfully - always took advantage of this Lenten pause. It meant Simnel cake, something chocolate, flowers for our Grannies. As I became older and Lent had more meaning for me, I too enjoyed the respite; although I have to admit that returning to some Lent rules, after a traditional breaking of them, was sometimes quite difficult. I particularly remember the year I gave up sugar in my tea! It was really, really hard. But, when I drank tea with sugar that Mothering Sunday, I hated it. And never returned to it! I had to find another Lent discipline after that.
This year Mothering Sunday faces us all with difficult challenges. It is always a Sunday with great paradoxes. Terribly painful for those who have been denied motherhood, for a myriad of complex reasons. Also painful for those whose relationship, either with their mother or with their child, is fractured, or damaged, seemingly beyond repair. Sad for those of us whose mother has died, particularly when it is the first Mothering Sunday after that bereavement. But this year, with so many older people in enforced distance and isolation from family members, many of us will have to find new and different ways to celebrate that special mother/child relationship.
Finding new and different ways of celebration and commemoration is also important as we reflect upon the other meaning of Mothering Sunday. Originating in the sixteenth century, it was a day for Christians to return to their ‘Mother Church’: their parish church or cathedral. This became the Sunday when young people, in service (sometimes as young as 10) were allowed to go home to see their mothers, collecting wild flowers on the way to take a posy home.
Visiting our ‘Mother Church’ is just not going to be possible this year, but neither is visiting those who cared for us as children, nor will we receive visits from our children if we come into the vulnerable category.
Christian ministers of all denominations have been agonizing about how to care for their congregations and communities at this time as the terrible news of the corona pandemic has unfolded this week. Maybe, this Mothering Sunday, we can commit ourselves to some time in remembering in prayer those who cared for us and nurtured us as children, but also for those people, men and women, who have cared for us and nurtured us as we grew in our Christian faith. Many of us are feeling bereft that we won’t be ‘in church’ on this or any Sunday for the foreseeable future. However, the church remains alive, and praying, and every one of us can be part of that prayer. The church buildings in Fen Ditton, Horningsea and Teversham are very precious to us all, but they are emphatically not the church. We are the church, every one of us. Let’s use this time of isolation and seclusion as time to deepen our faith, and to return to Mother Church in our minds and hearts. This will all end, and we will be back to worshipping together, and in the meantime, let us spend time with God, who mothers us every day of our lives, and who will give us the care we need in these weeks if only we allow him to!
God our challenger and disturber, help us to confront all that makes for death and despair in our lives, our communities, our world. May we never lose sight of the possibility of transformation and be continually surprised by people who believe in one another.
Cascade of Stars and Gases. This image will take you to the meditation 'Deep Silence'
Wildfires: Evidence of Climate Chaos
Wildfires: Evidence of Climate Chaos
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
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. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.
Nativity Star (CGI)
Nativity Star: This image will link you to the collection of new Carols on this site. Also, the image can easily be copied onto an overhead acetate and used as a window decoration. Easy for children to achieve. Note the cross at the centre of the star.
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.
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)
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' 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 - acrylics and painted threads
St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky
Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)
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)
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)
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
Celtic cross candle (Photo)
Celtic Cross and candle' linked to the poem 'Awesome, Wonderful Creator'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.
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. 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'
My Mesh Mask for Radiotherapy
This is the mask which was moulded to my face to ensure the radiotherapy I had in April 2017 was precisely targeted. You can read more by clicking on the image
Pam, who has been magnificent in caring for me since my Cancer diagnosis in October and I celebrate the end of Radiotherapy and our 36th Wedding Anniversary (Note the return of some hair!). Click on the image to read about the treatment - and waiting.
St Neots Sunset (Photo)
Surrounded by beauty: Whie 'Evolution and Beauty' became one of the most viewed poems on this blog, Pam, my wife took this gorgeous picture of a sunset over the flatlands of Cambridgeshire UK. Click on it to go to the poem
Gabriel - written/painted by Pam, my wife in 2015
Gabriel began the Christmas story with his visit to Mary. The story is told in our Christmas collection in the Carol, Go to Nazareth My Great Messenger. Click on this image to take you there.
Maple Leaf Nebula (CGI)
IMAGINARY IMAGE TO CELEBRATE CANADA DAY: Click on this his imaginary 'Maple Leaf Nebula' to take you to a poem entitled 'Nebula' (image not to be confused with NGC 2024, the Flame Nebula which is also known as the Maple Leaf)
Beauty in the Garden - June 2016
Beauty in the Garden - June 2016
Aurora Imagined over Iona (Watercolour & pastel)
First posted here on Adomnan’s day (23rd September) 2015. An imagined natural phenomenom that could be seen to resonate mystically with the idea of Iona being a ‘thin place’ where heaven brushes earth.
Thinking about the Brain
This image is formed from a small section of neural pathways posted by the Koch Institute, clipped, part inverted and stitched together. It is intended to impart a sense of our extensive, but still partial understanding of what goes on in that awesome part of our bodies, our brains. By clicking on the image, you will be taken to a celebratory poem/song ‘For Amazement by Beauty’ about all of our senses.
Source (CGI by Trevor Thorn)
Source: Expand the image to reveal its heart
Rainbow spiral (CGI)
'Rainbow Spiral' to accompany 'Darkness,Illuminator' . Find the poem by clicking on the iImagined mage
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'
Sing of God and Science - ‘Wordle’ Icon
Click on THIS image to go to a collection of different songs to those presented on the YouTube channel
Lenten Cross (CGI)
Click the image to take you to a meditation on Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour
Cross of Nails (CGI)
Let this 'Cross of Nails' lead you to "O Dare I Gaze Upon The Cross' with its newly published tune.
Rosemary For Remembrance: Download for Holy week & Eastertide.
This modest cost download from Wild Goose Publishing contains a poem linking Christ’s Nativity and Crucifixion, A meditation for Good Friday, an imagined reflection of a close follower of Jesus (Bleak Sabbath) and a chidren’s/ congregational activity for Easter day. Click on the image to take you to the Wild Goose order page.
Calvary - Lifeblood of the Cosmos
Calvary - Lifeblood of the Cosmos
Gaseous exoplanet atmosphere
Gaseous exoplanet atmosphere - imagined image (Acrylic to CGI)
Alpha & Omega bookmarks to reflect 'Alpha & Omega' poem. The three languages are a reminder of the universality of Christ and the two directions of the spirals remind us of Christ at the Beginning and End as does the text from Revelation. Click on image to go to the poem.
Ancient Storms: Imagined image (CGI)
Cross and Orbits
Logo of the NEW “Sing of God and Science' YouTube Channel - Cross in Orbits. Click on Image to go to the channel.
Nails and Thorns
This image for Holy Week is the work of a long-standing friend, sadly now dead, Ruth Bradford. Ruth drew this a few years ago and said 'This picture came as a result of a Lent Course I did with my Cluster Group at church. We worked through "He Chose the Nails" by Max Lucardo. When talking about the crown of thorns he spoke of the meaning of thorns in the Bible being the results of sin.'
Living With Integrity Logo
Living With Integrity/ Care for Our Common Home logo posted ahead of Climate Change talks Dec 2015.
St Cuthbert’s/ Hobthrush Island
Beautiful islet off Lindidfarne - song of seals as background music
Eastertide Garden Glory
Joy ablaze in the Garden
'Scientists in Congregations' Award
Delighted to be able to display the certificate awarded for the ‘Sing of God and Science’ project designed for use in church primary schools. Especially delighted with the affirmation of the awarding body (Durham University) in the centre of the certificate. Click on the image to take you to a sample of the songs that will be incorporated into the full collection later this year.
Creation by Joanna Tulloch
A lovely evocation of the first moments of the universe (Thank you Joanna for letting me use this image) Click on the image to go to Joanna’s poem ‘Sunlight on Stone’, also on this blog
Close encounter: Imagined image (CGI)
Poppy Nebula (Imagined image): Acrylic & mixed media
Let this image take you to a Remembrance and Hope poem
Ikon Galaxy (Imagined image: CGI)
COSMIC IKON 1 - Galaxy. Full text of 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Story', which can be sung to 'Ode to Joy', can be found by clicking on the image
Cosmic Ikon 2: The God Who Created The Cosmos: Click on the image to take you to the poem with this title
Ex Nihilo (Imagined image: Acrylic)
'Ex Nihilo': an acrylic representing the presence of Christ in the early stages of the creation of the universe: the swirl of hot gases has tiny specks of matter forming within it (Col 1.16). The picture accompanies a poem with the same title. Click on the image to go to the poem.
Steer to slidesow
If you enjoy the images shown above and in THE GALLERY below, you can view them and several similar as a fullscreen slideshow at
This image is intended to place Christ at the focal point of the Universe. The manger is deliberately oversized compared with most manger images: it is for cattle, not designed for a baby! It is a reminder of how often we want to make the story a 'comfortable' one - when at its origin it was almost certainly, inherently uncomfortable!
St Peter-on-the-Wall,Bradwell 7th Century Chapel of Saint Cedd (Watercolour)
Let the image take you to the Poem 'Othona', the name of the Roman Fort that preceded the building of the seventh century chapel
The Hermit's Cell: IONA (Watercolour)
The Hermit's Cell, IONA. Go to the poem with the same title by clicking on the image
Liberating Forces (Imagined image: CGI)
'Liberating Forces' to accompany 'Out of Nothing' which can be found by clicking on the image.
Mull across the Sound of Iona (Watercolour)
Looking across the Sound of Iona to Mull. Click on image to take you to the poem A Window of Light
Cross and Sunflower (Sculpture by Lilo Bauer-Frietag)
This 'New Life' Cross featuring the sunflower motif superimposed on the cross was made by Lilo Bauer-Frietag of Washington DC whom I 'met' in a spirituality group discussion on the web
Galilee - Lakeside Communion (Photo) Altar top
Stone altar beside the Sea of Galilee for our Communion. We were joined by Kingfisher and a Cormorant drying its wings. ALL HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE PHOTOS WHICH FEATURED HERE ARE NOW INTEGRATED INTO THE DAILY JOURNAL ENTRIES WHICH CAN BE ACCESSED BY CLICKING ON THE PICTURE
Cosmic Ikon 4 Nativity Star (CGI)
Nativity Star - Cosmic Ikon 4: The Gold of the sky represents God's Lordship over time and space and the cross at the centre foretells the future of the Christ child
Nativity Star Ikon (CGI)
Cosmic Ikon 3: Nativity Star. Click on the image above to take you to the full text of the short poem 'Star of Bethlehem'
Galaxy of Galaxies (Cross-stitch embroidery)
'Galaxy of Galaxies' (Embroidery) to accompany poem of the same title which can be found by clicking on the image.
Heart of Gold Galaxy (Watercolour)
'Heart of Gold Galaxy' to accompany 'Who Planned The Paths' which can be found by clicking on the image.
Cross and Nebula (Pastel)
'Cross and Nebula' to accompany the poem 'Cosmic Winds' which can be found by clicking on the image
Alpha Omega bookmark Cross-stitch embroidery)
Bookmark posted with 'I Stitch an Impression' . Go to the poem by clicking on the image
Galaxy 3 (Embroidery)
Spiral galaxy posted together with poem 'Evening Song which can be found by clicking on the image.
Starburst 1 (Imagined image: CGI)
'Starburst apocalypse' - to accompany 'The Waiting'. Click on the image to go to the poem.
Black Hole (Cross-stitch embroidery)
'Black Hole' - embroidery to accompany poem of same name which can be found by clicking on the image.
Cross in Spiral (Imagined image:Pastel)
Cross in Spiral Galaxy. The image will take you to the poem 'Nothing but Himself'
'Lord of Infinity’ Cross (CGI)
This simple Cross motif has been fashioned for this blogsite to symbolise 'Christ, the Lord of Infinity' comprising a straight upright intersected by the mathematical sign for infinity. Click on the image to take you to the poem 'Alpha and Omega' which also reflects Christ's place at the centre of the Cosmos.
Stellar Flares (Acrylic)
Stellar Flares posted alongside the poem 'Into The Deep' which can be found by clicking on the image.
Crown of thorns
'Crown of Thorns Cosmic Storm' to accompany 'Alpha & Omega'. Click on the image to go to the poem