Healing St Giles

When I last visited St Giles Presbyterian Church in early December, 2012,  the site of the former Church building looked like this; messy!Church without WallsTwo months later, with the help of Superseeders and a good dose of Presbyterian pragmatism the site looks like this; the scarred earth is nicely covered with soft, young grass and there is a border of cheerful sunflowers.New Growth

I don’t know who devised this remedy for an ugly, bare patch but it  works beautifully. The church buildings and land are next to an extremely busy road and near some equally busy work sites and shops and eateries. The church complex is, therefore, surrounded by noise and activity and movement. When you drive, or walk, by the church corner, the plain white, wooden cross, against the green corrugated wall ( and green lawn ) engages your attention with its simplicity and  its openness.Welcome with open arms The cross seems to welcome with open arms and say,” Come rest awhile in my company. Enjoy the stillness and the calm of the garden. Let me soothe your eyes and be a balm for your soul.”Rest in my companyBut, the practical pathway, thoughtfully Presbyterian, also says that ,if you only want to pass by, that’s okay too. It says,”We are happy to walk with you in your comings and goings and, maybe, in the walking, you will feel the light touch of blessedness beside you.” PathwaysMore pathwaysI think it’s wonderful what a difference a touch of green and white, a few flowers, some simple planks and building material and a plain, gravel path, can make to our broken cityscape. And, even more interestingly, how such simplicity can create closer and more vibrant connections between the Church and the wider community. I am sure our Church has had more newcomers cross its threshold in the last few months than it has in the last few years.

© silkannthreades

18 thoughts on “Healing St Giles

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Not missionaries although we met many. My mother was a pre-school teacher and my father was a civil servant ie worked for a Government department. Not sure if the term civil servant is used in the US. My husband was an international civil servant and worked for the UN. My “label’ is probably Third Culture Kid or Adult” which means I am always confused about who I am and which culture is mine. 😀

      1. cindy knoke

        Oh yes we use the term civil servants. This sounds like a rich and fascinating life….it is a gift is it not, to feel a kinship with multiple cultures, although a challenge I would imagine in terms of cultural identity. What a fascinating life! Thank you for sharing~

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, a fascinating life; with more positives than otherwise. I am very grateful for all the wonderful opportunities I have had to live in different places. The other day I was remembering how exciting it was hanging out the washing in Cairo on a clear day. I would take the laundry to the rooftop and I would get quite distracted at the view that extended for miles and miles and included Pyramids; lots of them. The downside; with sharing line space with many people, we got bedbugs! 🙂

        2. cindy knoke

          Bedbugs are bad news, but not just Cairo has them, they are a big problem in US hotels now. Still the imagery of laying out your wash on the rooftops with a view for miles of the pyramids…..How remarkable and wonderful is that!!! I would be spending a lot of quality time with the wash!!! Hubby would be like, “what’s taking you so long?”
          “Just making sure the wash is okay……”
          Wonderful. Have you considered posting these glorious stories?

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, I have considered it and I continue to consider. It’s really a question of time to think and then write. When I lived in Cairo I wrote quite a few accounts of other times in my life but to my great sadness the stories have been lost in one of our many moves. Should have made extra copies!

        4. cindy knoke

          Oh that is so disappointing! I can imagine your frustration. I seem to lose things magically in every move. If the time is right, I look forward to the fascinating posts about your life. Cheers to you my friend~

  1. Virginia Duran

    “Christchurch people have always been passionate about architecture.” Loved the article. You should stay positive, who knows, it may turn out to be a good building. I am still working on the post you gave me an idea. Will let you know when finished!

  2. Virginia Duran

    It’s been a while. How is the beautiful church construction? Any news on recent architecture? I loved your last landscape pictures by the way.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. Almost every day I read about, or discover, more and more spaces which have been beautified. I particularly like the St Giles area because of its simplicity.


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