Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The church at Migvie

The first time I saw the church at Migvie was just over three years ago (on my first visit to Tillypronie), and when I stepped inside, my eyes filled with tears. I was far from home, yet felt that home might one day be near; and I could not help but think of my sister -- as if I had found myself, and Ruth, in one of those rare places wherein those we have loved, and believed lost, seem suddenly closer again. Of course, I did not know at the time that I would return to the church, several summers later, to marry the man who had first taken me there (and who was responsible for its beautiful restoration, after it had fallen into disrepair); nor that my sister's daughter would be my bridesmaid. But if time is sometimes circular, rather than linear -- and at the church in Migvie, circles are everywhere -- then here was (here is) -- a moment when the past, the present, and the future, seemed to slip into a whole. How glad I am that our wedding took place in the round....



These lines are on one of the four walls at Migvie, but they also face the stone seats in the shape of a cross in the middle of the church (although some might see these as another circle). Elsewhere, inside and outside the church, are reminders of the site's ancient origins; hence the incorporation of Celtic and Pictish symbols, in stone fragments and carvings, alongside the Christian imagery. I hope you enjoy the pictures; and even if your journeys do not take you to Migvie, be sure to return to the sacred places that you know to be your own...


The door into the church...
and inside, an unexpected light...
a place where a small bird...
 might find sanctuary from a storm...


10 comments:

enid said...

What a beautiful church. I love the idea of circles in life and circles of friendship.The idea of sacred places is so interesting because for me they have nothing to do with religion. I remember a wonderful church in Kent with a beautiful Chagall window and a favourite small stone church in Knysna.
I can't wait for your visit to Cape Town. They are advertising it lots in our papers and all my friends will come to your talk.

the veg artist said...

What a fabulous place. The light reminded me of the Matisse chapel. Beautiful restoration indeed, by someone with a wonderful soul.

Lou said...

"Beautiful" is the only word I can think of, Justine...A Sacred place for such a sacred day.

Justine Picardie said...

Thank you so much for all these thoughtful comments. I think that Philip's restoration of the church is creative in the very best way, staying true to the spirit of the place, while also breathing new life into an ancient building.
Enid, thank you, too, for spreading the word to your circle of friends -- I'm really looking forward to my visit to Cape Town in September, and hoping that the audiences are good for the Open Book festival.

kairu said...

What a beautiful, peaceful sanctuary! History and modernity, art and the spiritual meeting together...I hope to visit someday.

Lilac In May said...

Agree with Kairu, the church looks like such a peaceful spot for quiet contemplation. What a wonderful place for circles and rings to become ripples.

Justine Picardie said...

There are concerts in the church, so will keep you all posted on those.

Glenernan said...

Your empathetic observations about Migvie are lyrically expressed: I'm sure Peter Goodfellow the Artistic Director and co-Designer of the Restoration will be pleased.

stella josphine said...

Beautiful church and thanks for sharing the blog.Keep on update blog.

domy drewniane

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