In the church in Charminster

In the church in Charminster

In the Church,
by the river,
in Charminster,
the 11th century church,
extended and improved in the 14th and 16th centuries by the local Trenchard family,
the Church with a clock and five bells,
oh, what great light it is inside that shines so bright,
light that comes through yonder windows,
the plain windows,
and the stained-glass windows,
and from the lamps,
illuminating the glorious architecture built in ancient times,
and what intricate carving hewn from the local stone,
that builds the columns so high,
so high, right up to the vaulted roof,
the roof made of large solid wooden beams carved by strong arms and with intelligent minds and aesthetic eyes,
and what wise sayings high upon the walls,
quotes from the Bible that uplift you,
and that are as relevant today,
as of times of old,
and what a glorious arch,
shaped like a rainbow that leads to the alter and the cross in front of the stone window so skilfully sculpted,
so many years ago,
by dextrous hands and by those with artistic hearts and minds,
and what evocative painting sculpture and gilded art there is in the Grace Pole memorial before my eyes,
fashioned with dedication and skill in memoriam of Grace,
the second born daughter of Thomas Trenchard,
a Knight,
and in memorial to their sons so sadly and prematurely snatched away by death,
who are buried at Colyton in the county of Devon.
The Church,
a place to reflect,
a place with many memorials and memories and burials,
a place filled with thoughtfulness,
and prayers and revelries,
a place to muse and ponder the wrongs in the world and the good,
a place to listen,
a place to talk to friends,
a place to talk to God,
a place to pray,
a place to sing,
a place to be heard,
a place to be understood,
a place to enjoy,
a place to be uplifted and filled with the holy spirit and the teachings of God,
a place to admire,
especially the stained-glass windows,
and the bells,
and the tiles,
and the carving in stone and the carpentry in glorious wood,
and the architecture and the time that the church has stood,
and the Church here since the 11th century,
what a wonderful place it is,
a beautiful place to visit and worship,
and a great place to meet friends,
and a great place to celebrate all that is good,
and through centuries the Church has stood in all weathers,
a beacon of hope for those in need,
a place that will brighten your day and fill your heart with happiness,
a place to listen to hymns and wise words,
and reflect upon life,
and upon the struggles and the strife,
and the joys,
and the sadness,
and in fact a place to ponder and wonder in any mood.
And at the Church by the river in Charminster,
it is a wonder of elegance and magnificence,
that lifts you up out of the dark,
and as the clouds gather outside and threaten to break,
I sit a while on the well-made pews,
that have seen many bottoms over the history of time,
and here,
here I rest mine,
and inspiration is sparked,
in the peace and the quiet,
and the solitude,
before the candle in front of the alter that burns bright,
and in front of the bells behind,
the bells that chime so wonderfully throughout the village to mark sad and happy times,
the place where happy folk meet to celebrate Christmas and Easter and worship,
and who come to pray,
when the time is right,
at a service or at a time of their choosing,
here in the Church by the river,
and now,
now at Christmas time,
oh, how glorious the tree is and how it is gloriously decorated so beautifully, next to the pomegranates on the wall,
the pomegranates that are identical to those in Seville cathedral,
probably by a craftsman sent by King Phillip of Spain after he had been entertained at Wolfeton House nearby,
and as I sit here relaxed,
and with a smile on my face,
I wonder how many people have sat here over the years,
and who have sung for joy,
their songs and their praises rising up to the wooden ceiling,
with smiles on their faces and with great happiness in their hearts,
and with great happiness in their eyes.

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