Pear Tree Chapel

My favourite fruit is the pear, and I munched through two perfectly ripe ones there at the chapel as I sat down to write this blog. The week before, I visited what had once been called Pear Tree Chapel in Kendal. It is now a handsome set of apartments, tastefully converted from ecclesiastical to residential use. Sadly, the original pear tree that graced the croft on which the chapel was built the 1750s fell, and its replacement was blown down in 1826, but the name survived. Now, both the name and the tree are long gone, and only church and chapel aficionados pay it much attention. Once, the plot of land grew produce, including succulent pears. Afterwards, it offered rich spiritual succour to those who would come to feast at Christ’s table. Nowadays, it offers neither, except pleasant accommodation to the comfortably off. Old Pear Tree Chapel is no more, and so too its nourishing and invigorating words of life and hope. In secular Britain, with our posh homes and big bellies but emaciated spirits and anaemic souls, we may rue the day we closed our churches and chapels but constructed casinos and shopping precincts; we gorged ourselves on takeaways and ready-meals, instead of apples and pears.

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30, NKJV