The sound of Silence.
What can one say about silence? From my generation, Paul Simon in the 60s song said, ‘silence like a cancer grows.’ The elderly have too much of it, the gauche teenager doesn’t know what to do with it so masks it. Most of us do that: we mask silence by busyness, background sound, hyperactivity. Silence segregates people and makes them less human as in the silence on the London tube, or in prisons under Rule 43 where offenders are kept in 24 hour isolation.
There is however much to be said and done about silence which is positive. In the sphere of religion – my responsibility – silence is essential to a life of prayer. Philosophically, if we believe God to be everywhere then if we take away urge hustle of everyday life, if we turn off the radio and sit ourselves down in our favourite chair and just sit, then God is to be found somewhere in that silence. It is – for most of us – an acquired taste but to some people they are drawn to silence like a bee to the trumpet of delicate jasmine. Here the contemplative soul finds food. It is ‘the still point of the turning world’, to quote T. S. Eliot in mystical mood.
Of course, we are not all contemplatives, but what current surveys on life-style are showing is that most people have an appetite for a deeper wonder, if not for organised religion. Christianity generally tends to be verbose. ‘Poor little talkative Christianity,’ complained E. M. Forster. I know what he meant. Sometimes I wish I were a Quaker!
But help is on it’s way. Those who compile our services have suggested that silence be kept at certain occasions during the liturgy – before the Collect for example. I always encourage those brave souls who present our public intercessions to maintain some silence to allow us to pray. Often however, when this happens, people get worried thinking that something has gone wrong, so incapable are we of maintaining silence!
So important is silence in our prayer lives that I have organised a quiet morning in Tixover church on Saturday 14th October, 10am – 12noon. This is a quiet spot! Why not come and feast on some conducted silence?
AGM 2017 Agenda: AGM Agenda 9th April 2017 Please click on the link to view/download
Parochial Church Council Report 2016: AGM 2016 Secretary’s Report Please click on the link to view/download
Minutes of Church AGM 2016: AGM Minutes 2016 Please click on the link to view/download