Reflection - "What If"

What if?

(An invention of what might have happened at the very beginning of the transformation of church and flats, circa 2001ce. Read at the official opening of St.Goran Church Project Friday 9th September 2016.)


‘What if?’ he said ‘What if?’

And a thought began to grow

What if? We could? Could we?

How would we begin?

With congregation small and resources thin

How would we begin?

What if? never quite went away.

What can we do? Which is rather like what if?

People said from village, church and pub?

What can we do that is in our power to?

Transform and change in stone and wood

The flats rather faded and bare?

‘We’ll sell’ said one (a collective one you understand)

 ‘We’ll buy’ said another collective one. ‘We’ll make sure forever and a day these homes not out of reach of those who call this village home.’ These homes added to and in stone wood made beautiful.

 Others said with that thought in mind ‘We too can begin to think thinkable things of stone and wood and craftful things about our holy place and how it changes all the time to meet the people’s kingdom dreams.’

Oh how sumptuous all this seems as if in a few months all was hunky dory and we all were dancing in Celtic rhyme around with Cornish cream teas in our hands.

Many years passed and people passed on to the green sun blushed meadows of Elysium or St. Austell. The dear man who had for so long held the what if? in his heart retired and vicars came and went in rather rapid succession each catching the what if? and sharing their love and leadership.

It was the people who stayed, always stay, the people of the Church, the people of the village, flats and room, many united in one task, one what if not two. And grumbles emerged as they always do when What if becomes a serious thought. And monies were found from across the land, the most precious close at hand.

And builders came, the Bob and the Bill and in co-operation sensitive and true, work was done in splendid style, whilst work was ceased and tidied up as mourners made their file.

And bells arrived, a 10 bell tower whatever next? Plans were made and plans were dropped as I suppose they always are. And a little room became a meeting place inside the church each Tuesday morn, a place of tears and smiles and a surveyor’s face happy and forlorn. ‘Twas much the same I expect in flats and room across the way.  At last ,at last tools were downed and craftful hands at rest. Tenants old and new went ‘Wow!’

Worshippers and visitors on their treks saw and said beautiful things about the ancient place whose very stones emerged from the new or the other way round.

And still the what if? in many guises persists because, if you will forgive a religious man, what if? began at the beginning of time, when one divine thought breathed over the deep waters of all our beginnings: and the word was heard whispering: what if?

God bless to all who have made these possible.

God bless to all who opened well these hopes and tasks.

Two openings. Two builders, two managements, but please one united transformation. I, for one, promise not to mention the one without the other. Neither could have been achieved without the other