St Peter's, Wisbech

Wisbech Church in Cambridgeshire has its tower separated from the main body of the church. This is because the Fenland soil is unstable, the previous tower having collapsed into the nave. The builders of this fifteenth-century edifice located it so that, in the event of further collapse, the rest of the church would suffer less.

I sometimes wonder about crooked pastors and proud church members; their flawed characters and unstable personalities do not just harm them but the local churches of which they are part. I have learned that when someone wishes to leave a church, it behoves me to show them out rather than urge they stay. The local church is as vulnerable from threats within as threats from without. When some crook or pervert is exposed from within the her own ranks, it is the entire body of Christ that is smeared with his muck. When those who quarrel cannot muster sufficient grace to bear with one another, the roof sometimes caves in. When apathy permeates the whole body, the whole starts to die. How vulnerable is the local church!

Tho' with a scornful wonder
the world sees her oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping;
their cry goes up, "How long?"
and soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song.

S.J. Stone