Faith Shall Yet Ascend


St Lawrence Steps by Crispina Kemp

St Lawrence’s stands silent –

No choir now there sings –

The people of Norwich –

Today seek out other things


Once a place of worship –

Its edifice grand –

Now only as a landmark –

Makes its stand


What things have transpired

To leave it so?

A place redundant –

Where few care to go


It is a mirror –

Of what’s happened to belief –

“Redundant” the view-

“That God is chief”


Just like Lawrence’s steps –

Faith seems to descend –

Yet, we who believe – pray

For belief to again ascend!




Crimson’s Creative Challenge #16


6 thoughts on “Faith Shall Yet Ascend

  1. Nice one. Padre. 🙂
    Though I’m not sure the churches stand empty for loss of faith, though that obviously has had a big play. St Lawrence’s and the others along this 400 yards stretch mostly served those involved in the wool and shoe industries. As those industries have failed, first to northern (water powered) competition, and more lately to cheap overseas imports, so there was no employment and folks moved away. Many went to Yorkshire and Lancashire, else to London, or America, Canada, South Africa, leaving scant people to use the churches, and they mostly ‘chapel’. Since the 1980s, when I left the city, there have been moves to bring life back to this district. But too late to save the parish churches, the newcomers are more likely to attend the ‘smarter’ joints of St Peter Mancroft and the cathedral, both easy walking distance, or one of the many chapels, or belong to one of the many other faiths found in the Norwich of today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do agree with your point about migration and the economic trials of Norwich which went from England’s second city to relative obscurity as wealth first went to Bristol with the “new” Atlantic trade, then north with the Industrial Revolution. My reaction and reflection is more based on the choice of words used by the CoE about buildings that are not actively used for worship. The term “redundant” seems to me somehow dismissive, that they are now somehow no longer important, rather than merely no longer used. It is here I see the societies attitude to faith as well. I have heard in both Ely and Norwich Cathedrals the statement that the place is holy. Holy not because of some official statement of human powers on high, but because they were constructed, decorated, and attended by people as an act of faith, The very stones one priest said at Ely have absorted the essence of the millions of prayers said there over the centuries, How can any such place ever become “redundant?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • In that I do fully agree. When out walking I always visit the parish churches (where open). The sense of centuries of prayer, devotion, seeps from the very stones. And while the more magnificent might produce a feeling of awe, and yet the small unimposing churches often breath a deeper (now I search for a word; I want to use honour, but not in tofay’s sense.) I find that more in the smaller churches than in, say, Norwich cathedral or, as in Tuesday’s walk, Wymondham abbey (more properly church). Perhaps those places have also absorbed more by way of violence, and attendees who attend for the sake of show.

        Liked by 1 person

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