On our visit to South Wales last week we were privileged to visit exciting churches. The first is built next to a Mediaeval Shrine, and the second is a coming together of two traditional denominations by the seaside! Neither is what you would expect!
It was Saturday – that strange day, between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. In the past I have spent it in prayerful reflection – waiting and watching, though some years it has come and gone, and hardly been noticed. This year was spent at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, with even the weather was totally in between – winter and summer, wet and dry, sunshine and cloud! Here I was, staring at works of Art by sculptor, Tony Cragg, trying to make sense of it, trying to see what the artist is portraying – even looking into and through the Art to find an inner meaning. Aren’t these the questions we ask about life and death, and very much in the struggle to understand the death and resurrection of Jesus. Tony Cragg takes a portrait of someone and shapes it into a sculpture that reveals the essence of the person. I couldn’t help be struck by the subject of this one – being “Tommy,” for in the resurrection narrative it is Thomas who struggles to “see”, to understand, to believe that Christ has risen. Now I am looking at the man, and trying to understand him!
‘Tommy’ by Tony Cragg
What a view! We often have pictures of a church, but here is the view from a church. It is Denholme Shared Church, a photo I took on Palm Sunday from the cemetery at the front of the church – hence “a tomb with a view”. The next photo is inside the church, showing a tableau of the bare cross on a hill, like Calvary, but surrounded by the dry-stone walls of Yorkshire, a scene that will change over the next few days as the church walks the way of the cross. Here is the Easter journey that will take the folk of Denholme to a tomb that will be empty, and where they will see with fresh eyes, as they hear the words “He is risen, he is risen indeed” – a tomb with a view, that invites us to meet the risen Christ in our world. What a view!