Churchyards are lovely places! You may think that is an odd thing to think or say, but they usually are places of peace and beauty, and for the most part they add poetic dignity to, and respect for, the lives of loved ones at rest. The St Leonard’s churchyard is as lovely as they come, and the attractiveness is to my way of thinking enhanced by the sound of the river flowing by, and the knowledge that there have been burials here going back many centuries.
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor.
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
THOMAS GRAY (1751)
In no way is a churchyard a damper on the normal services which go on in church. Rather, the memorials witness to the continuity of life in this place, and the sense in which we in the Christian Church are part of that great band of pilgrims reaching back and forward in time. It’s a bit like a victory parade!
The churchyard extension at St Peter’s Church, Minshull Vernon, is being consecrated on the afternoon of Sunday 18 November, the service starting at 2.15. Bishop Libby, Bishop of Stockport, will be doing this for us.
I am hoping to attract some visitors to the service of Consecration apart from our regular St Peter’s worshippers. Warmingham folk are especially invited. Maybe you know of someone who would be interested in coming along. The service will last perhaps 40 minutes, followed by light refreshments in the hall. Part of the time will probably be in church and part must definitely be outside, as the Bishop must walk the perimeter of the area to be consecrated using suitable prayers and legal formulae.