Sunday, 26 January 2020

God's Calling: A Reflection

This morning, while preaching, I recalled the case of St Giles' Church, Tattenhoe.

When I first lived round here, Tattenhoe was a parish with no village. A tiny church in a clump of trees, with a nearby farm, halfway between Bletchley and Buckingham. The village itself was abandoned in the early modern period.

Somehow St Giles survived despite having essentially no congregation. During the summer months, there was an evening service every other Sunday, led by the clergy from St Mary's Bletchley - so the very select congregation of people who liked said BCP in old churches in a wood could be vaguely warm and have some light.  It whiled away the winters of centuries empty, dark and cold.

For hundreds of years, the building repeatedly went into a state of dereliction, and was patched up and kept going. The work of dedicated souls that the modern, efficient church of England would probably tell to pack it in and let it go, it's not worth it.

Today, Tattenhoe is an estate of Milton Keynes.  And St Giles, still wrapped in its trees but now in a modern large town, holds services, according to ACNY, every Sunday morning.

Those farmers, church wardens and priests who somehow kept the roof on St Giles through all those centuries probably did so for a variety of reasons. But I bet none of them ever knew one of their real callings. To enable people in the 21st Century to have a beautiful place to worship.

Well done, good and faithful servants.

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