God Bless Horbling Church

May God bless St Andrew’s Parish Church at Horbling!

It had been a long, hot day. I had toured round the North Kesteven district of Lincolnshire on a two-geared bicycle looking at churches. Some were closed, some were open, and none made any serious effort to share the gospel, save one or two which sold little cards with prayers printed onto them. Yet at Horbling, my last port of call and a place better known for its bubbling, natural springs, I was refreshed in more ways than one.

A ladies’ knitting or needlework group was meeting in the south aisle and bade me welcome. They cheerfully chattered and gossiped while attending to whatever their respective textiles demanded. I was given leave to wander about, gawping and photographing. As well as being historically interesting, the good folk of Horbling attempted, in a gentle, quiet way, to meet my spiritual needs. By each major feature of the building was a white and blue sign, explaining the spiritual significance. The sign by the pulpit urged me to listen to God, and quoted from Isaiah:

'Come to me and listen, listen to me so you may live.'

By the largest stained glass window was a sign explaining the Bible’s use of light as a picture of our knowledge of God, and that Jesus is the light of the world. A prayer at the bottom invited the reader to ask God to shine His light and guide them. At the crossing, where the aisle meets the chancel, the sign suggested that we might be at a crossing in our life - was it time to make God more central?

After a long day of inspecting ancient graves and empty churches, these wonderful signs brought tears to my eyes. At last, I had found a Lincolnshire parish church which, recognising the visitors’ need of Christ, offered spiritual food and something to ponder, not just banalities and historical trivia.

Sadly, I had no coins left to contribute to Horbling Church, but it deserved them far more than the others to which I had given. Silver and gold had I none, but for that church I have prayed. It shines more light in that village than many hundreds of other churches put together.

May God bless Horbling Parish Church. Its pulpit stairs were a strangely shaped affair, but more of God's word is shared in that place when even that pulpit is empty. 

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens: I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name."'

-Rev 3:7-8, NKJV