Thursday 18 June 2020


My parish church is open again, for private prayer – and open every day, which is a great deal more than it ever managed before. Seeing the notice and the open door today was quite extraordinarily heart-lifting, and walking through that door, back into the familiar space, felt like some kind of homecoming, even though I rarely attend a service these days and am barely part of the life of the parish. Even so, I need that church to be there, and to be open whenever possible; I hadn't realised how deep that need was until those grim months of closure. I hope this welcome reopening is a sign that the church has rethought its place and purpose in the life of the community, and rediscovered 'the power of the parish', as Giles Fraser expresses it in this excellent piece – and that, in Maurice Glasman's words, as quoted by Fraser,
the places denuded of value and purpose are revealed again as a site of meaning, a place where people live and from which they work.  The parish has returned as a site of living community, with its land and nature, its character and history, its wounds and its promise. It is the elemental theatre of living community. Its institutions and buildings, including churches, are no longer abandoned monuments to inevitable decline but full of necessity and hope and the new chapter is played out within its bounds. People and place matter in this story. Their particularity is transcendent. 


  1. Fraser's a strange cove. Sometime's very good, sometime's comes across as a bit unhinged.

  2. Yes I quite agree Guy – can be maddening.

    1. He does interviews on a podcast & some of the people he talks to are interesting. However, I've yet to listen to one in which Fraser doesn't say, "Well of course I'm an old Leftie" or similar, as if he feels these are credentials

  3. Yes, just one of his tiresome little ways. He was, I think, pro-Brexit – but then the old Left were strongly anti-EU...

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.