Enjoy Words Week in Madley Church

Led by Revd. Judy Dinnen, May 2009

‘Can we write a prayer to say at the end?’ asked two children’ Thank you for our gifts..’ they prayed before they and their friends returned to Madley school, note books in hand. Groups of children, as well as adults, from far and near, came to join me, writing in the peace of Madley church. For some, it was excitement, for others release, for others a time of much needed peace. One writer explored loss, writing from the Psalms, ‘I cry from the depths O Lord!’  In a small group she was able to share her moving words.  

The children were invited to draw a heart shape and write within it what they would like God to say to them. They were quite absorbed, filling the near A4 heart. I asked if any would like to share their words, but not a single child did. They folded them up to take home. It was a moving moment.

Visitors were invited to write in the book for prayers in the chapel and a diary in the nave.  In the diary, there were entries about broad beans in the garden and visits to the May fair. Someone came into the church and wrote a movingly in the prayer book about her Dad’s death and her mother’s grief. 

A visitor from Canada wrote about her parents’ wedding in this church in 1945. She told how her mum had walked from the airbase to the church and, on the way, she spoke to a woman tending her garden. When she told her she was going to her wedding, the neighbour picked her a bunch of sweet peas to bring with her. The bride has loved sweet peas ever since.

There were quiet times too, when we enjoyed the peace and awesome qualities of this great church. It is a powerful experience, writing in a new place; the windows, light, arches and birdsong filter into the words. The history of pilgrimage and centuries of worship influence the pen. Time too is a blessing; time, which is so often filled with action, could this week be filled with words and peace. One writer wrote through a difficult situation and seemed to allow the peace of this holy place to turn her words towards hope.

Some of the children in Madley Churchyard

Group in the Crypt Display boards Judy writing