online: 11 february 2016
modified: 29 january to 11 february 2016
29 january 2016 beyond the city
...walking toward an architectural break in The Great Wall that separates
the Garden Suburb from Hampstead Heath... (what i call the city forest)
and joins the heath to several churches... as well as to the suburb...
i left the bus at the church of Saint Edward the Confessor himself a
holy monarch and the last of the Saxon Kings of England
(before William the Conqueror)
inside the church a dozen people pray in silence...
until two of them sing quietly for a few minutes... and then all leave
except for me... and for a woman who is arranging flowers and other
objects around the altar
she signals to ask how long i need before she locks the door...
and i say 15 minutes... to which she signals 5
during which time i simply note the peace and devotion that is evident
in this holy place
and then... in speaking about her belief in God and in the Roman Catholic
Church... she says:
'i don't know how i'd manage without it'
after which i visit other churches inside the garden suburb... they all
appear to be closed (except for the meeting place of the Society of
Friends... or Quakers) which is occupied by cleaners who shout through
locked doors that they are not allowed to admit others)
as i walk away i decide to let this visit to churches set the direction
of future walks beyond the city forest to visit not only churches but
any places or things that seem devoted to the mind or holiness
(even if it seems to me more materialist than sacred)
© 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008,
, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 john chris jones
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