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Religion: A Pastor Ponders

Reflections in an ancient church

By Pastor William Jenkins

October 24, 2007

League City News - League City Methodist Church Picture The landscape of England is dotted with Saxon churches that date from the first millennium. One such church is Holy Trinity at Bosham on the English Channel. The tides from the Channel flood parts of the village twice a day. At Holy Trinity an invitation to pause and pray is posted on the church door: “Will you join in the eternal stream of prayer and praise which is still offered here by the people of the Parrish?”

On the front door crosses are etched like graffiti on the stone door jambs. An explanation is posted to inform visitors that the crosses were imprinted by knights returning from the Crusades. They rededicated themselves to peace by blunting the points of their swords before entering the church. If you close your eyes and are quiet you may hear the clinking of armor and the scratching of metal on stone.

The East end of the church nave is flanked by two stone coffins. The one on the left contains the bones of “a strong man.” The one on the right contains the remains of the eight year old daughter of King Canute. This is the same king who tried to hold back the tides of the English Channel.

To one side in the rear of the church, light streams through a window illuminating a portable cork board. On it is a collage of photographs showing the local teenagers enjoying the activities of the Church. The photographs are testimony that this ancient Church is not a museum but an active body which has been proclaiming the love of God to young and old for more than a thousand years.

I had expected to be awed and inspired by the great cathedrals of England. I did not expect to be so profoundly moved by the simple, quiet dignity of the little out-of-the-way churches that have been teaching and preaching the Word of God for so many centuries.

Time tests all things. The glitz and glamour of the modern mega-churches that are mushrooming all around us have a long way to go to match the heritage of “the little brown church in the vale.”

League City United Methodist Church is located at 1411 Main Street (FM 518), one block east of Interstate 45. For information, call the church offices at 281-332-1557 or visit the Web site at


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