Wednesday 26 August 2020

St. Stephen, the Church and a Solemn Moment

The photo above is of the church at St. Stephen-in-Brannel, Cornwall. 

Often it seems as if time is going faster and faster. We were previously at this village one year ago. I know this, as it is where I get my annual car service - not at the church, of course, but at a nearby garage.

It's never the happiest of visits as someone close to us is buried here. Always makes me think about life in general. We are on Earth for such a short period and yet we seem to waste so much time on unimportant trivialities. 

Our loved one is buried in the new section, adjacent to the main churchyard. Here only headstones are allowed.

Most locals simply call the village St. Stephens. The Brannel bit is left over from medieval times when the parish was within the royal manor of Brannel.

The church dates back to 1261. It is thought that there was a previous church on this site. This is indicated by various ancient crosses in the churchyard.

Back to the car.  It was serviced, no problems and life goes on. Well for some of us ... or perhaps all of us.

When my mother died I found this poem in her purse and it was read out at her funeral service.

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away into the next room,
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we are still.
Call me, by my old familiar name.
Speak to me,
in the the easy way you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
What is death, but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh
at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Thank you for your visit to my blog. Good wishes - Mike.


  1. A very poignant post Mike. After my mum died we were clearing some of her belongings and came across a book of poetry which I knew had been written by one of her friends, so I kept it. Later, when I leafed through it I found a slip of paper in one page. The paper simply said "for David", the poem was very similar to the one here.

    Churches can tell lots of stories and I'm intrigued by the tall tower on this one which seems quite ostentatious for a village church. Maybe in times long ago it was a prosperous area with wealth from the wool trade, which is often the case.
    Lots to think about in this post Mike.

    1. Very moving about your mum's poetry book. It is 'strange' how these happenings come about. They do seem to be significant and meaningful.

      As for the church, this was originally the 'mother' church for the three parishes of St Stephen-in-Brannel, St Michael Caerhays and St Dennis whose places of worship were considered to only be chapels.



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