This is the spire of St. Peter’s. the smallest church in Cambridge. It dates from the 11th century. The building is no longer in regular service, but it is open daily for people to drop in. It is a quiet, peaceful, prayer-soaked place just a few steps away from a busy intersection.
St. Peter’s is just a short walk from Westminster College. I visited today after lunch, with three Westminster students- new friends. Henriette, originally from the Netherlands, is a church youth worker who is preparing for ordained ministry. Morna and her family moved from Pakistan. Her husband is a minister, and she has an M.Div, but was not able to live out her call to ministry in her home country. She is now updating her qualifications, in preparation to be ordained. Bruno is also preparing for ministry. He grew up in Italy, but has been in Great Britain for many years.
It was Bruno that first mentioned St. Peter’s.
He likes to walk over from the college to pray in this ancient sanctuary.
He led us through the door, and it felt like stepping back in time,
or at least into a timeless place.
Here are Morna, Henriette and I at baptismal font that has stood in this place for 10 centuries. Behind the display of information about the church there is a pull-rope for the bell. We were there around 2 o’clock, so we took turns ringing out the hour. We assumed that historical trust that preserves the site would not leave the rope in place, if they did not want us to ring the bell!
The four of us pilgrims, from Italy, the Netherlands, Pakistan, and Canada, sat in this ancient church, and prayed together in a silence weighty with the prayers of a millennia’s worth of fellow travellers. In their own ways, all those seekers were looking for what we look for- signs of God’s loving presence, and a sense of how to live in response to that love.