Prayer for Liverpool
For more than thirty years, I had the privilege of living in a vicarage, for six of them in Seaforth, and for the rest in Stanley – the posh name for Old Swan! For the most part it was indeed a privilege, but one or two aspects of vicarage life presented more of a challenge than an opportunity.
One which certainly comes to mind is the huge garden which often comes with the house. The vicarage at Seaforth was built on the site of a larger house which had been destroyed by a bomb during WW2. The site was not really cleared before the new house was built, so much of the garden was full of rubble, making it almost useless for lawns or flower beds. My grandmother who lived there with my mother and me certainly enjoyed the challenge of the garden, but it largely defeated even her hard work and enthusiasm.
In Old Swan the Vicarage was a huge house in a secluded Victorian square with open land and a wooded area at the front. As if that was not sufficient, there was also a large secluded garden at the back of the house. For most of my time there, a succession of curates shared the house with me, having a self-contained flat on the top floor. Somehow during the appointment process, I failed to ask whether they enjoyed gardening. As I now recall, only one of them did!
Moving to the Cathedral Close was a horticultural liberation! There are modest gardens at the front of our houses, and a small area of lawn and border at the back, but for me the most enjoyable part is the patio, next to the living room and the kitchen. All that is required is to water a few pots!
Having spent so much time at home in recent weeks, it has been great to watch as spring has turned into summer, as tulips have given way to bedding plants, and on certain days, the Lord God even lends a hand with the watering!
It was the poet and hymn-writer, Dorothy Gurney, the author of a once popular wedding hymn, ‘O perfect love,’ who also wrote
‘One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth’
I’m not sure I would have gone along with that during my years in a vicarage, but now as I stand with an early morning cup of tea, looking out at the patio, I’m far more inclined to agree – and to be thankful.
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God