'And did those feet?' - celebrating Jesus and St Just - in Cornwall
One of Cornwall's most beautiful and most frequently visited churches has to be the thirteenth century St Just in Roseland. It was described by the late poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman as ‘to many people the most beautiful churchyard on earth’.
Inside the church, a framed tapestry begs the question posed by the visionary William Blake in his famous 'Jerusalem':
'And did those feet in ancient times
walk upon England's mountains green
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England's pleasant pastures seen!'
It tells the legend of Jesus coming to Roseland as a boy with St Joseph of Arimathea in search of the local commodity - tin.
The graveyard and gardens of St Just in Roseland are full of palms, ferns, bamboos, gunneras and other exotic plants which thrive in the mild climate of this peninsula on the Falmouth estuary.
For visitors to the interior of the church though, perhaps most striking are the words which greet you as you cross the threshold:
and be still, let go your burden
and share in the
the serenity of this place.
May you have the strong
assurance that God cares for you:
and may the
peace of Jesus Christ go
Lining the paths between church and lych-gate are words of comfort for the bereaved, particularly:
The Churchyard at St Just is open daily. Beyond the church lies a Holy Well, just a short distance along a path beside the tidal creek. No wonder so many return again and again to breathe in the peace of this unique, and so well cared for, hallowed space.
Details of a campaign on JustGiving to raise £25,000 for the upkeep of St Just in Roseland Churchyard and Gardens can be found at the website https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/stjustandmawespcc
plus times of services.