The church is a tidy corner of my mind,
a space safe from intrusion,
for only like-minded souls may enter.
There is a code, not for dress, but for respect
and yes, the truth – true as light enters
from the south window and door,
as sure as nature rules over us
by allegory and design
Among thousands of well-tended churchyards,
the lychgate remains guarding some
as the portal from this life. In and out
we may pass during our petty days,
to sip tea and enthuse over cake,
to attend a happy marriage
or a hopeful christening. Yet we never see
the day when the wooden gate opens, for us,
through that final time when the funeral meats
have turned cold and our daily minutiae
will have counted for naught, except
in the annals of that eternal judge
Peterborough is a modern city, with a population well over 200,000. After WW2 Peterborough was no bigger than a large market town – with one of the best cathedrals in England.
Until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the late 1530s, Peterborough Abbey was one of the largest monasteries in the whole of eastern England. Luckily, at the time of the Dissolution. Henry VIII granted Peterborough city status by allowing the abbey church to become a cathedral. We should at least be grateful for that and that it is still a magnificent structure today, with modern elements incorporated inside.