All those years of going to church with bottoms numb on wooden perch the Sunday morning boring preach when we just wanted to go to the beach.

The vicar dressed in white attire trying to light our inner fire Miss Harper always at full throttle and George the warden on the bottle.

And us as girls put in the choir in cassocks that we thought were dire and when we broke ropes for the bell Miss Roberts said we'd go to hell.

The hymns we murdered by the line, although we liked “Shine, Jesus shine.”. Miss Frampton in her flowery frock, the ticking of the vestry clock.

The ladies who did alter flowers, who stayed behind for hours and hours. Collection plates for our donations the prayers for all the third world nations.

Old farmer Jones would go to sleep, worn out from chasing wayward sheep. His wife would poke him in despair, but he just snored, he didn't care.

The promise of eternal life, the wedding vows twixt man and wife. The funerals and the sad goodbyes, The heaven promised in the skies.

Collections for the old church roof, agnostics looking for more proof. The crack of knees knelt on the floor, the draft that crept in through the door.

At harvest home, big sheaves of wheat, with thank you's for the food we eat. The loaves of bread, the bowls of fruit, farm workers stuffed in shiny suits.

At Christmas out would come the stable, a change from all that Cain and Abel. with candles glowing in the night, a gentle golden homely light.

At midnight mass the drunks came in to try and save themselves from sin. And then it was all “deck the halls” with spindly trees covered in balls.

At Easter we prayed for lots of treats, We smuggled chocolate in our seats. Sang “Jesus Christ is risen today” and nibbled eggs when we could pray.

For Mothers day we got some flowers, the service seemed to last for hours. Then race to give them to our mother, and try and get there before our brother.

We didn't realise at the time but we were learning all the time. We learned respect and the Lord's prayer and we were taught it's good to share.

And we made friends and had a laugh, as regular as our weekly bath. In Sunday best with our collection days remembered with great affection.

And when we go to church today now it's our knees that creak at pray We sing the hymns, praise to our God and try and tread where saints have trod. Jan Millward©