The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

11 February 2010

Angels in the rafters

A quick piece inspired by a phrase from Carly. Thanks for the challenge, Miss Tree!

Challenge: Angels in the rafters

Away in the Marchlands on the rough hillsides, there stands an old ruin of a church. All that remains are three walls and a half, with here and there a bit of timber and what was once a roof. The hills and fields surrounding are littered with stones pulled down and abandoned during the time of Henry’s Dissolution, leaving St. Crispin’s open to the sky in fair weather and wet.

Many mornings the highest peak of the broken belfry is lost in rolling mist, cloaking Crispin’s profile from distant view, leaving the church to its solitude and neglect. Man has long forgotten to honour God within, but birds nest in upper corners, while below under the broken altar stone, a fox has dug its den. The talk of ravens echoes from wall to wall, and owls watch over the grazing of far-off sheep from the tree beyond what was once the vestry.

Grass has grown over the fine floor, hiding medallions of the saints and softening the footsteps of the rare explorer. Ivy marks the passage of time with its climb over the fragments of stained glass high up in the walls.

To the eyes of man, St. Crispin’s appears abandoned – a relic of quaint devotion to a forsaken god. But bird and beast know, as man cannot, that God is yet present: there are angels in the rafters. This is hallowed ground, a house of God, a sanctuary of grace and peace.


  1. Lovely - especially the part about St. Crispin's!

    Someday I'll have to tell you the real story of the angels in the rafters. ;)

  2. There's a real story? Tell! Tell!

    (I'm consumed with 'show, don't tell' just now, so I want to say "Show! Show!" Which leads to "Show us your paso doble"... catch the quote?)

  3. I suck at quotes.

    Part of the story is buried in this blog post: