Be you believer or not, this poem, Church Going, by Philip Larkin is worth much more than the time it takes to read thoughtfully.
What is church for? And is church being now what it is meant to be? Do I hear a hearty yes? A decided no?
For myself, I love the penultimate verse, and the finish as well.
Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt
Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground
Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt
So long and equably what since is found
Only in separation - marriage, and birth,
And death, and thoughts of these - for which was built
This special shell? For, though I've no idea
What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth,
It pleases me to stand in silence here;
A native of the North Shore of Boston, I currently live in Worcester County, Massachusetts. I worked at Boston College as the Acting Director of The Church in the 21st Century Center until August, 2010 and served until November 2016 as Canon for Formation, and Dean of the George Mercer Jr. School of Theology of the Diocese of Long Island. I was happy to serve as Rector at the Church of Saint Anselm of Canterbury in Shoreham, New York from late 2016 to early 2020. I began service as Rector of The Church of Saint Matthew in the city of Worcester on the first day of the fateful month of 2020.
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