Monday, October 5, 2009

Chester Cathedral - through young eyes

While in Chester last month I visited Chester Cathedral. I have also visited the cathedrals in York, Lincoln and Durham on previous visits long before I began this blog. Chester ranks up there with the most notable, tracing its founding to just after the Norman Conquest almost a thousand years ago.

Whilst I was there it just so happened that a group of pre-schoolers were visiting the cathedral. About a hundred of them were sitting on the floor of the nave right in front of the organ.

There they were, a little bundle of young lives, some still clutching their favourite teddy bears, full of innocence and hope, the joy and treasure of the community. I was reminded of a quote of Carl Sandburg:

A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.

They were listening attentively to a guide who was explaining to them the functioning of the great organ, and as he explained the organ’s capabilities the organist would demonstrate them. The sounds ranged from something like the low tremor of an earthquake to the airy notes of a pipe whistle soaring into realms only dogs can hear.

It was quite touching to feel at the same time the weight of the ages in these old, holy stones and the fragility of the new life in these little children. It was also pleasing to see that they had been brought to this place at such an early age to be imbued with its power.

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