God’s County, Christ’s Croft

A certain Yorkshire-based evangelist, not unfamiliar with Martin Top, often promotes his native county’s best attributes. He distributes Faith Cook’s 2017 Fine Gold from Yorkshire, an account of the outstanding Christians to hail from that land, which supports the oft-quoted ditty that the White Rose represents ‘God’s own county’. Having ancestors from both Yorks and Lancs, I need not fret; our chapel did reside in York’s fair bosom until Edward’s Heath’s redrawing of the maps in ’74. Still, to ballast Yorkshire’s preening pride, I offer a fourteenth-century poem I came across, quoted by historian John Cotterall:

When all England is aloste,

Where so safe as in Chryste’s Crofte?

Where do you think Chryste’s Crofte to be

But between Ribble and Moerse? (i.e. the Mersey)

A croft is a small farm, a homely cottage with a few acres, an intimate dwelling. If Yorkshire is God’s own county, Lancashire is Christ’s own Croft. Still, I look forward to the day when all the world will be God’s country and Christ’s warm abode. Come, Lord Jesus, and reclaim our wild northern shires, so long dark and cold, spiritually impoverished and dying.

Image by suju from Pixabay