Friday, 6 November 2009

Some corner of a foreign field .........

Not , Filey Churchyard. For those  in Filey who have loved ones buried in St Oswalds Churchyard ,it really is a special place. Anyone who like me, has occasion several times in the week to pop into St Oswalds church , so in a hurry has brought the car, will know that the car park is rarely empty . Every day winter and summer people visit  the churchyard with a few flowers, or for a tidy up around a grave with shears , or just to remember a birthday or wedding anniversary or an anniversary of death. We cannot get away from the final rite of passage. Regular readers of this blog will know that this year saw the death of  a dear friend. Her ashes are now buried in St Oswalds Churchyard.

My family are buried in the graveyard of St James Sutton -in-Holderness. My Victorian forbears are buried at Isleornsay on the Isle of Skye rarely visited now by my family, and only with scrubbing brushes and cleaning fluid. My family are historically Christians. Graveyards are special to us only for a time, whilst the  person buried is still remembered  . My family believes that Death is not the end of Life. We believe the best is yet to come. That makes a graveyard all the more special for us, as a repository , and a memory trigger. My sister , recently praising God for Healing she has received for an incurable Cancer, has visited St Oswalds Churchyard every time she has stayed with us in 18yrs. Filey is one of her places of Refeshment and Grace. She usually comes back from her walk and says 'I have been to see Mr Hunter'. He was a man of God , and has one of the Fishermans graves by the North wall of the churchyard(Sailed Home).
As teenager in the depth of angst I always went to our churchyard in the village for a bit of quiet and a think. Often as I   walk around our churchyard here, people are sitting quietly , in sorrow, in joy, in peace and recuperation.
On Sea Sunday ,Elsie Butterworth  points to the window in St Oswalds of 'Christ calming the Storm', and remarks that it is not the sea of Galilee in the window, but Filey Bay. Our historic church has been a seafarers landmark , and our Churchyard a port in lifestorms for hundreds of years. North of the Churchyard wall can be seen the remains of 'Ridge and Furrow' , proof that Filonians spent much time in this North East Corner of Filey hundreds of years ago, and always aware of their mortality with the view of the graveyard .
 Churchyards do not just happen either. St Oswalds churchyard costs thousands of pounds to maintain .Thank God then that Filey Lions Club cuts the grass in the East part of the Churchyard as a SERVICE to the COMMUNITY. I am grateful  for their voluntary devotion, and hard work. Strimming round graves is not a mornings work.

We recently spent a gorgeous autumn afternoon in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, Abelard and Heloise, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf are amongst the hundreds of famous people who are buried there. But it was was the sheer poignancy of the recent War memorials which I will remember on Sunday this week, when I watch the Cenotaph Remembrance Service on the BBC, and the march past of thousands of Men, Women and Young People, all Children of God.

We pray  for all those families known to us whose Sons, Daughters, Friends and Loved Ones are serving Her Majesty in places of Conflict, or are fearful as they prepare to depart.

1 comment:

  1. AMEN to that.
    I recommend the book : "Heaven, not the end of the world "



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