Looking after the bricks and mortar


Helloooo! Am back after another blogging break. I have a good excuse though. I was nursing injured ribs. I almost called this post ‘Falling Slowly.’ I can remember every moment of the fall and the landing. I tripped over a few millimetres of crooked paving stone and landed with an extremely painful THUD! So I was out of action for a few weeks. Then I went on holidays…

We went on a road trip. Not as far and wide as we’d planned, due to my delicate condition. We went to Cirencester, the Cotswolds, Oxford, Kent, Chichester, Farnborough and our last day before returning to Wales, was a day in Bath. If you know me, you know I love Bath. I’m always up for a spot of Jane Austen spotting. But what really fascinated me on this visit was our walk around Bath Abbey. They have embarked on a major project of renovation and restoration. At the same time as repairing the collapsing floor, they are working on preserving the history of the building, and reducing their carbon footprint. They will be running the warm spa waters under the Abbey and utilising underfloor heating. It’s a super project called ‘Footprint’ and I’ll add the link below if you’d like to visit the Abbey website and read about it.

My first pastor regularly reminded us that the church is not just bricks and mortar. We met in a community centre and were delighted eventually to have our own permanent home in the loft space of a row of shops. But he kept reminding us, we were not get to caught up in our surroundings, but to get caught up with Jesus, and the Word of God.

As I entered Bath Abbey and saw the huge undertaking of restoration work, my old pastor’s words rang in my ears, and I confess I kinda snorted at what I could see happening. I know I know – a terrible attitude, but almost immediately God pulled me up on it…

God’s Word was all over the building. Each panel used to ‘fence off’ the renovation area had a Scripture verse on it. We found copies of The Lord’s Prayer in one of the small chapels, in a number of languages (including Welsh). There’s also an exhibition called, ‘Let My People Go.’ 23 beautiful pieces of work that reflect Bible stories from Creation, through to Moses.

Bath Abbey is definitely not JUST about the bricks and mortar, even though the bricks and mortar currently need some attention. I was blown away by it, I have to admit.

As I’ve spent some time healing from my injuries, I’ve been pondering my own efforts in physical restoration and renovation over the last few years. I continue to look after myself, staying active and trying to lose some more weight. But I too am not JUST about my bricks and mortar. I’ve written before about how I’ve mistreated this temple I’ve been given, and though I need to take care of my body, I also need to make sure I’m taking care of my spirit. I’m crumbling on the outside, there’s no denying it –  aches and pains, still carrying too much weight, laughter lines that have developed into hilarity tunnels. But… as long as there’s plenty of God’s Word on the inside, I reckon I’ll stay standing.

Go check out the Bath Abbey website… and do visit if you can. It’s a super place, inside and out 🙂 x

 

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