An Abandoned Church
To hatch, to match and to despatch,
Those clichéd words, so glibly said
To total all this ruin’s worth,
To bless the bride, to shrive the dead.
To christen infants and to be,
To all who sought a comfort sure,
A barque of safety on that sea
That laps at last on Heaven’s shore.
But now no longer do these walls
Give back the chant of psalm or hymn
No more will flickering candles light
The pilgrim’s way through shadows dim.
The congregation now is changed
A different choir its songs now sing
As drunken men and women too
Pass meths around a ragged ring.
But surely these, these wounded ones,
With battered face and battered mind
Are welcome in the home of He
Who gave His life for Humankind.
For were He here and with us now
Where would He go, where would He walk?
With those who suffer, those who hurt?
Or those whose Charity is talk.
Perhaps this building, gaunt and grim,
With roofless walls, with gaping door,
Has now at last fulfilled its fate,
To be a refuge for the poor.