Here within this country chapel,
Small and bare and dimly lit,
Quiet save for tick and rappel
Of the watching clock I sit.
Through the night the tempest rages,
Rain on windows beats alarm,
But I see the gilded pages,
Think of One who stilled the storm.
One by one the old folk enter,
Battered by the wind and rain,
Verging on this common centre
Spiritual comfort to obtain:
Come by road and field and dingle,
Through the wood and through the vale,
In this sacred house to mingle,
And to hear an oft-told tale.
A tale oft-told but worth repeating,
Welcome as an old true friend,
One that grows with every greeting,
One that cannot have an end
Till the goal of our endeavour
Is achieved on earth at last;
Till God’s grace the shackles sever
And we shed the shameful past.
Weekly Times 3.11.61