Third Space Ancient and Modern

A mild autumn morning greeted us all in the park; birds singing, leaves turning from shades of red to brown and beginning to carpet the floor. A fine morning for thinking about outdoor worship.

We began by being Franciscan and reading together part of the Canticle of the Creatures. Saint Francis is said to have composed the canticle in late 1224 while recovering from an illness at San Damiano.  (The ancient)

The Canticle of the Creatures

Most High, all powerful, good Lord,
to you be praise, glory, honour and all blessing.

Only to you, Most High, do they belong
and no one is worthy to call upon your name.

May you be praised, my Lord, with all your creatures,
especially Sir brother sun,
through whom you lighten the day for us.

He is beautiful and radiant with great splendour.
He signifies you, O Most High.

Be praised, my Lord, for sister moon and the stars:
clear and precious and lovely, they are formed in heaven.

Be praised, my Lord, for brother wind;
and by air and clouds, clear skies and all weathers,
by which you give sustenance to your creatures.

Be praised, my Lord, for sister water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, for brother fire,
by whom the night is illumined for us.
He is beautiful and cheerful, full of power and strength.

Be praised, my Lord, for our sister, mother earth,
who sustains and governs us
and produces diverse fruits
and coloured flowers and grass.

On a slow walk to the beech tree we considered the verses and used them in worship and thanksgiving.

On reaching the beech tree I reminded everyone of the day we took off our shoes and made contact with the earth beneath our feet. While in touch with the ground I asked everyone to write down what was going on in their mind. I put together what we came up with and read out.  (The modern)


Rooted and Grounded

This morning we are here to touch the cold, wet, earth

Firm under our feet

Here we are rooted and grounded

In this Thin Space/Third Space

To stand on …

 God made Holy Ground,

This is holy ground …

Giving us roots and wings,

Here in this place teeming with creatures

like the first creation, 

Seeing the magnificence 

elemental, historical, futuristic

Where the grass sings and the earth hums

Roots and wings

Rooting us, upholding us

Help us to see God in this place

All connecting, my life, our lives, all life

to share our own joys, sorrows and laughter

and intercede for all in God’s earth.


“And in this he showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand….

In this little thing I saw three properties. The first is that God made it, the second is that God loves it, the third is that God preserves it. But what did I see in it? It is that God is the creator and protector and the lover.” Julian of Norwich (b. 1342)


Take a hazelnut from the bowl and pray for those you love, and those people and places that need help. As you drop it pray that “All shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.” 

The Peace

May deep peace be in our thinking

May deep peace be in our hearts

May there be deep peace between us and God’s good earth

And may the deep peace of Jesus be with us.


The bread and Wine

The bread

It represents

The provision of God

The bountiful harvest

The work of the labourer

The hands of the baker

In remembrance

Of bread broken

And shared

Of a body broken

Of a people blessed

And a forgiveness shared

The wine

It represents

The provision of God

The bountiful harvest

The work of the labourer

The skill of the vintner

In remembrance

The ransom paid

The hands pierced

The blood shed

The redemption

The celebration of the resurrection


“Circle me Lord, Keep protection near, And danger afar.”

“Circle me Lord, Keep light near, And darkness afar.”

“Circle me Lord, Keep peace within, Keep evil out.”

“Circle me Lord, Keep hope within, Keep doubt without.”


May you be a bright flame before me
May you be a guiding star above me,
May you be a smooth path below me,
And a loving Guide behind me,
Today, tonight, and forever.

All this and then off for a coffee at Cool River winner of the best Bistro/Cafe in England award.