Thomas (boggyb) wrote,

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Thin places

At housegroup we're currently going through a series on aspects of Christianity through the ages, and tonight's (well, last week given that I'm actually typing this on the 9th) topic was Celtic Christianity and its focus on the natural world.

Ca was leading and asked us all to bring something that reminds us of our favourite part of the natural world - I was trying to work out what to bring, but ended up digging out a couple of sunset photos (taken on actual film, to much amusement) as I find when out and about with the camera I take an awful lot of landscape photos, in particularly of landscapes with interesting skies. A quote from Goodnight Mister Tom comes to mind - "I could never tire of painting the sky for it is constantly changing". It turns out quite a few of us had the same idea and had found similar photos of sky and fields.

Later the topic moved on to thin places - this also comes out of Celtic Christianity, and means places where the physical and spiritual worlds seem particularly close. One I found many years ago is this spot:

Hidden to the side of a path between Titchfield Common and the Chilling cliffs are steps leading down to a boardwalk through the trees, along and above a tiny stream. I just find it an incredibly peaceful spot to pause at on a sunny day, listening to the stream burbling along and birds chattering in the trees. The boardwalk has an inscription carved in it - "as time passes slowly by this place, pause awhile, then so must we".

Another one is St Mary's church at Hook-with-Warsash:

I've walked past it several times, but the other day I was attempting some geocaches around Warsash Common and thought I'd give the church micro a try. And having walked into the churchyard and found the necessary clue, I had some time and so decided to explore some more. Doing so turned out to be well worth it and I spent much longer looking around than I'd intended to (abandoning the geocaches due to lack of time) - as with the boardwalk above it was just so very peaceful, and also despite it being a grey overcast day inside the building was very bright and airy thanks to a large pair of clear windows at the rear of the church. Some churches have a particularly spiritual feel, and this is one of those.
Tags: church, housegroup

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