Open-air Mass

Breaking surf delivers the invaders
In the wake of Roman and Saxon
Bringing  a message to the King of Kent.
The Alps and Channel behind,
The south-easter creates its sound
Though source and end unknown
Bared boughs bending
And autumn leaves scurrying
Beyond Canterbury, Thanet, Medway, Thames
Heralding the buds of spring
And rebirth for these islands.
The contingent raises a cross
As sheaf and vine become bread and wine
In eucharistic prayer.

St Augustine’s Cross – near Cliffs End, Kent

September 2010
St Augustine’s Cross © John Smitten

The cross was erected in 1884 to commemorate the site where St Augustine was said to have celebrated his first Mass after landing at nearby Ebbsfleet in 597AD.

Would Augustine have used John 3 as the basis for his message to King Ethelbert?