Typing up this particular poem has been an interesting journey for me. The titular church has close ties to my family, my parents were married there, as were my brother and his wife back in 2011. My grandad himself, the author of these very poems, lies at rest in its churchyard now, his ashes alongside those of his mother and father in law. His funeral was well turned out and actually brought the little village of Great Budworth to a grinding halt as traffic was forced to wait for the funeral procession to do its thing.
So I guess you could say that Budworth church has sentimental value for me and will have even more come July of this year, when I myself will be getting married there!
Anyway, here is the poem, as always I hope you all enjoy it.
Great Budworth Church
Sandstone blocks on the top of the hill
Old wooden beams showing their length
Beautiful windows that colours do fill
Stout oak doors boasting their strength.
Stately old tower shelters the bells
Lively weathercock pointing his way
Looks on the houses where honest folk dwell
Makes no noise when they kneel and pray.
Look over the pastures and over the mere
Watch gulls flying, below in the sun
Rabbits and hares play without any fear
Of that stealthy shadow loading his gun.
Down to the wood pews all notched and worn
Organ pipes staring down, watching us all
Thinking of old times, of large congregations drawn,
By the sound of the bells ringing their call.
Eyes to the churchyard, granite and stone
Dark, handsome lych-gate shows us the way
Walk down the old path, see scythe and hone
Cut and then sharpen, as long grass they flay.
St Mary’s and All Saints, called by its name
Old village church with stocks on its wall
A reminder of old times, of hardship and pain
When God was respected and worshipped by all.
If on a weekday, your visit be
Then the flash of a spade you may see
And the steady rhythm, of its blade on soil
As the digger moves and his muscles coil.
What man is this, who works alone
Among the stones and wood and bone
Who sinks his shafts in Budworth clay,
For someone’s life that ends its day.
I’ll tell you of the man who diggeth there
A who’ll pray and curse and swear.
A normal chap who lives a good life
And works hard to keep his honest wife.
Read on, read on, the following verse
Before the mourners follow the funeral hearse.