Monday, December 07, 2009

Love was his Meaning



Above the steamy warmth of the café, in the still prayerfulness of high arched church, a steady stream of people quietly come and go and light floods in through clerestory windows.  Here the shop-weary can find sanctuary from retails restless rat race and allow themselves time to respond to Wisdom’s bumper bargain.

Mancroft is not alone in offering such space. There are two cathedrals  and St.John, at the top of Timberhill ( between John Lewis and the entrance to the Castle Mall),  is always open.  But best of all, and a short walk away, is St. Julian’s Church just of Rouen Road

In the 14th century this was the commercial centre.  In the midst of the teeming city  Mother/Lady Julian lived out a solitary life of prayer and reflection the very embodiment of Wisdom in the Marketplace. Her book, still in print after all this time, sums up The Reason for the Season in four short words, “Love was his meaning!”

Wisom in the Market Place

Christmas shopping and the January sales will bring many into Norwich this winter. In a time of financial crisis people will be looking for value for money while trying to stay within budget. It can be quite trying! For Christian shoppers there are other considerations, not least The Reason for the Season.  How can we celebrate the Christ in Christmas with the cards and presents we give?

The Norwich Christian Resources Centre, in St. Michael at Plea Church on the corner of Redwell Street and Queen Street,   is one  place where you might find that special gift.  While there take advantage of the in-house café. It’s an oasis where a shopper can relax  and re-fuel.  There are similar Christian cafes dotted around the city: at the Kings Church in King Street, the Salvation Army in St.Giles, the All Saints Centre in Westlegate (opposite John Lewis) and the ever popular Octagon at St. Peter Mancroft.

Wisdom  in the Market Place is a striking picture on the way into the Octagon Cafe. It draws on  Proverbs Chapter 1 where Holy Wisdom offers her wares - free to those who seek!  The artist -  Juliet Wimhurst – has imagined  a motherly, much sought after, lady, next door to the Guildhall. In reality St. Peter Mancroft Church has set its stall out at the other end of the market. 

Above the steamy warmth of the café, in the still prayerfulness of high arched church, a steady stream of people quietly come and go and light floods in through clerestory windows.  Here the shop-weary can find sanctuary from retails restless rat race and allow themselves time to respond to Wisdom’s bumper bargain.