The Crypt, Lastingham


Perhaps there has always been something here, waiting even before

Aidan sent monks from Lindisfarne in Celtic times:

To build in stone for Christ between the wood and Moor,

And touch the ridge to echo with soft Office chimes.

Or, it could be that thirteen centuries of praise and prayer

Have risen to the vaulted roof’s stone bow:

Then slowly drifted down to find the narrow stair

And pool below, layer upon quiet layer.


I cannot tell, but I know this: this I most truly know.

We first came here some thirty years ago

By chance, perhaps it was by chance, and on our wedding eve.

We passed the low arched threshold and the lower stair

To find an altogether older, different, space,

Where quiet flows joyful from that deepening well of prayer.

And if you are touched, as we were touched, you will never fully leave

But go, with an almost longing,

Or promise of belonging,

To be called back, as we came back, to this place

Of still, absorbing, silence and of grace.



         Neil Davidson                               July    2002