Do you have a Church in your benefice that is under-used, perhaps a bit isolated, but still very dearly loved? Would you consider allowing it to be part of a new directory of Celtic Quiet Places which could be promoted?

The idea, which has come from Canon Pat Robson and is supported by Bishop Philip, is to see if it might be possible to create a network of small churches that both locals and tourists alike could visit: places where they can spend some time alone in peace and quiet, enjoying the atmosphere of an ancient holy place and the beauty of the countryside around it.

The directory would be made available on the internet so that visitors could plan their walks and car journeys accordingly, and would include a photograph of the church, a sketch map showing how to find it, times when it would be open, the availability of outdoor seating, wheel-chair accessibility, car parking and details of toilets available, if any.

Once the church were part of the scheme, all that local Church members would need to do would be to see that the church is kept clean and attractive; that there were helpful leaflets for visitors to take away; that it was opened at the agreed time each day and that there would be a visitors’ book available for people to sign.

It is not essential that the church is dedicated to a Celtic saint but it would be an added attraction.
Our churches are not meant to be monuments, nor are they meant to be locked up. They have been greatly loved by people down through the ages, as they still are by so many in our communities. It is hoped that if people from inside and outside of the church played even a small part in keeping the churches open under this scheme, it would give them a sense of purpose in knowing that they are providing a real ministry to stressed or unhappy people who are searching for peace.

When the Celtic Saints travelled across Cornwall they were constantly on the look out for an isolated spot where they could be alone with Christ. What was true for them is true for many of us, and certainly true for the thousands of tourists who flee their busy city lives and come to Cornwall for rest and refreshment.

However isolated and ill-attended some of our little churches may have become they can still play a vital part in our mission and the way we minister to those around us.

If you would like to join in Pat would be delighted to hear from you. And if you have suggestions as to how it might be shaped and grown get in touch with Pat on the contact information below. Once we know how this might develop, we can look at where it fits with others things happening in the diocese, such as promoting creation care, and developing Quiet Gardens.

If you are interested in taking part or have any ideas or suggestions, please contact Pat via email here or call 07867 577416 or 01726 882366.