Saint John’s Chapel, Worcester Cathedral

Empty space now:
nine chairs against the walls, and three prie dieus,
an altar here, clearly unused,
with painted reredos, bright crucifixion scene.

Empty, but not unused.
At the west end a door, ‘Private, staff only’,
bright red fire hose, volunteers’ drop off point
and notice board.

Built as a place of prayer,
for priests to offer mass, spiritual nourishment,
now criss-crossed by busy feet of vergers,
volunteers, going about their business,
and, at large services, used as a dumping ground
for vestment bags, a robing room.

Cathedral, also built for worship,
for monks to chant, bishops to celebrate,
faithful to receive spiritual nourishment.
Has that now become an empty space,
place of historic interest, tourist trap?
While those responsible for watering flowers,
conducting guided tours, raising the needed funds,
go purposefully about their business utilitarian.

‘You shall see angels of God ascending
and descending on the son of man.’
The answer – Incarnation.
Jesus is the place, the meeting place of God and man,
worship and daily life,
communion and collection box,
all meet in Him as in this place.