News and events Events Poetry that moves the soul “Writing poems is not work, it’s an absolute joy” says Ema Fields from Bolingbroke Deanery. The name may not ring a bell to her fellow church goers as that is her ‘nom de plume’ and, as a writer, she prefers to remain anonymous. Ema started writing poems at the age of seven and is a published author of a book of poetry with another in the pipeline. Later her novel was published and there is another work of fiction awaiting completion. An early source of inspiration were the nuns in her convent school. Ema fondly recalls the stories they used to tell her of when they were young. “They were brilliant and the nuns, Mother Vincent and Mother Aquinas, became fictional characters in my book, not that they ever knew this!” she said. From this early start, Ema has used her love of words and grammar throughout her life; as a teacher as a young woman and in the preparation of technical and scientific documents later in her career. “I can’t just make poems up, I have to feel them and be inspired, so I write them as and when things happen in life – the highs as well as the lows” she said. “When I hear that someone is in trouble I like to write something which I hope will help them. I get some wonderful feedback, such as that they have been moved to tears, which is very touching for me to hear. “I feel driven to write and have many, many poems. Some are always work in progress, as I may go back six months later to edit them, as one can always make tweaks to make something better.” When reading poetry Ema likes the ‘old poets’ – Wordsworth, Byron and Keats. For a book she most enjoys novels set in the Victorian era, notably Jean Plaidy. “I love stories about how life was in centuries gone by and a good writer really takes you there” Ema said. “I remember writing a poem about a cottage about 40 years ago and when I came to look at my current house I got this very strange, cold feeling like I had been there before, because it was just as I had described it in my poem even though I had made it up” she said. Her faith is important to her and as soon as she moved to the area she said she “needed to find a church” and she has been a member there for many years. “I have a deep feeling and faith and it’s very important to me. I really couldn’t do without it. As soon as I went to the church I knew I was meant to live here. I have an urge to help people. I think that being kind, caring and giving are central to, hopefully, trying to be a Christian. “I have had a lifelong love of English and grammar. It’s very satisfying searching for the right words to say something. When you see the impact that your words can have, the emotional reaction, its completely humbling. I believe I have been given a gift from God and it is something that I treasure every day.” My Sanctuary by Ema Fields I pass through the portals the great carved arched door and imagine the old folk who have walked through before. I glance up above eyes glistening with love to where celestial choirs of children have sung. I stand here alone 'midst the cold, grey stone, though now stark and bare its beauty remains unimpaired. I stand here alone in God's own home, as his presence I feel it is reverence to kneel. This historical retreat that I love so much, the stations of the cross that I lovingly touch. The sacred altar is simple, the scent of flowers fills the air, old threadbare linen, immaculate, from many hours of loving care. A silent prayer offered as at the altar I kneel, I sense a strange but spiritual aura, so intense and ethereal. I light a lone candle, a candle of prayer to the Blessed mother and infant who bide with me there. Just a solitary candle with soft light it glows where once myriad candles burned long years ago. The Chalice is gleaming, there stands the old wooden Cross to remind us that our Dear Lord suffered and died for all of us. The worn, ancient pews each fashioned with care by the hands of old craftsmen who once laboured there. At this beautiful church in wonder I gaze, with its battle-scarred stonework now mellowed with age. An errant tear slips down my saddened face for a long since treasured bygone age. Here, where I feel at peace, here, where serenity reigns, here, where I find release from the world and all of its pain. I will go now outside and walk tree shaded grounds where the founders of this church sleep peacefully sound. The weathered old stones sunken deep in the earth each add to its beauty for 'tis nature's own work. The sun fading fast sinks low in the west, ancient stone bathed in crimson, perfect peace, so picturesque. Dear battered old church we will take care of you through many a long century you've stood steadfast and true. Standing battleworn and weary our heritage you own and with God's help you'll stand for centuries to come. For 'tis here I feel safe, here where I feel no hurt, I am free from all harm in this Blessed old church.