For some reason , on Wednesday morning, I kept the radio on longer than usual, even though I had already started my day’s work. I had to go into the kitchen, where the radio lives, and was stopped in my tracks by a piece about an English Heritage initiative, to encourage people to be silent when they visited ruined monasteries, to just look and listen. It was introduced by a recording of bird song from Rievaulx Abbey and Stephen Fry waxing lyrical on the virtues of entering into the experience of the medieval monks and nuns. There was then a longer interview with one of the chief building specialists from English Heritage; I lost count of the number of times he used the word “spiritual” as he talked about the scheme. You can experience this peace yourself if you go to Buildwas Abbey, but you can also find it far closer to home, in any of the churches or churchyards in our locality. Coincidentally, on Thursday I led a short service of words, music and silence in Billingsley churchyard. Spirituality, that part of us that responds to the peace in places of worship, has nothing to do with whether you believe in God or not; Stephen Fry is an atheist. It is something all of us have, deep inside and which shapes our core values. We need to recognise this and nurture it. I cannot improve on the words of the English Heritage speaker; “Spiritual nourishment speaks to people of all faiths and none”.
To read the article on the English Heritage website click on the link below;