Laithkirk: Watch and Pray

A friend and I recently visited Laithkirk in County Durham. It sits high on a hill overlooking a verdant Lune valley, and a wonderfully positioned bench is a most pleasant seat upon which enjoy a picnic lunch. The church was once a barn, dating back to the fifteenth-century, before it assumed a more overtly religious function, and it is still known as the ‘holy barn’. To this barn, villagers and farmers would have brought a tenth of their produce, or their tithe, which was meant to pay for the upkeep of ecclesiastical buildings and their parson’s stipend.

May we all bring a share and portion of our time, money, talents and energy for God’s glory. These will usually be brought to the local church, wherein God’s people work together to extend His kingdom. In that respect, every chapel and church is a holy barn, a repository and storehouse of our combined wealth and abilities, a depot from which others may be blessed. Even the most talentless, mediocre Christian has something to offer, some act of service and commitment to share with the Kingdom. 

Fear not to enter his courts in the slenderness

of the poor wealth you would count as your own;

truth in its beauty and love in its tenderness

these are the offerings to bring to his throne.

-J. S. B Monsell (1811 - 1875)

Watch and pray, urges Laithkirk’s sundial (below). You might have no money or particular talent which your church requires, but you can still offer these. Watching and praying are two contributions in perennially short supply.