Celtic GlorySpiritual

St Columb Minor

St Columb Minor

St Columb Minor is one of two places in Cornwall named after a Celtic saint called Columb (Columba). There's little known about this saint but she's not to be confused with St Columba associated with Iona. On the website, A Church Near You it saysat: 'In a manuscript in Cambridge University Library it states that she was the daughter of an Irish king and in order to escape marrying a pagan prince she fled by ship to Cornwall. She arrived at Trevelgue Head which is now called Porth Island. Unfortunately the prince followed her and chased her through the forest, now known as Porth Beach.  She fled up the valley past Rialton and Treloy but was captured at Ruthvose which is two miles south of St Columb Major. Here she was martryred by the prince who cut her head off. Where the blood fell a spring gushed forth and formed the river which enters the sea at Porth Beach.' In St Columb Minor she drove evil spirits away. 

The Celtic missionaries replaced pagan magic with Christian worship and a wooden sanctuary where the current church now stands. In Celtic times it belonged to the monks of St Petroc in Bodmin. The church is clearly on a circular raised site, a 'lan' but perhaps pre Christian from the hagiography. I was interested to see what God would show me when I visited.

However, it wasn't straightforward. The church inside had a strange feel that wasn't conducive to prayer but because I knew this was an ancient Christian site I decided to sit in the churchyard and pray instead. The hymn 'God be in my head and in my understanding' was going round in my Spirit. 

St Columb minor church ext

 Sitting outside proved interesting, not just spiritually but in the natural. There was an absolute cacophony of birdsong. It was loud and insistent and delightful. There were jackdaws, pigeons, numerous sparrows and seagulls all calling simultaneously and rather joyfully. It was June and they were nest building too. Bumble bees buzzed in the wild ox eye daisies and red poppies which filled the churchyard. It felt gloriously rich and a contrast to what I'd felt inside the church. I started chatting with God about the place and trying to listen to what He was saying. I found myself thinking, 'Can these dry bones live?' yet knowing the answer immediately is 'yes'. So I found my prayer was a simple declaration in the Spirit, 'Live, Live, Live'. 

Pigeon st Columb minor

I was sitting on the edge of the churchyard path when suddenly I realised I was in a vision. My feet appeared to be in a fast flowing river which was following the route of the path, but not entering the church. I hear an old song in my head, 'There's a river, there's a river, there's a river flowing over me'. That's all I could remember of the song but that's all that seemed relevant at the time. (See the lyrics below and how they tie in with the vision). The river seems full of life and joyful, a river emanating from heaven itself. It's almost as though angels are surfing along on the surface and there's a vibrancy in the air. I suspect this is what's drawing so much wildlife to take up residence in the churchyard. I've noticed it many times that where the presence of God is, and His angels, wildlife is drawn and birds sing. I've also experienced the converse, where a total absence of wildlife has indicated spiritual darkness in an area. 

St Columb minor church river

So whilst I wasn't drawn to the church itself, the 'lan' was a beautiful place to encounter the presence of God. What an enigma!

There's a River by Malcolm Du Plessis

LyricsChorus 1
There's a river there's a river
There's a river flowing from the throne
There's a river there's a river
And it flows throughout the world
There's a river there's a river
There's a river flowing from the throne
There's a river there's a river
And it's flooding over me

Verse 1
There's a river
Flowing from the throne
Not a gentle stream
But pow'rful flow
It brings the city
Of our God such joy
And springs of fountains
In her midst
On the banks the trees
Are full of life
There fruit just grows
And grows all the year round
The leaves are green
And never seem to die
They're for the healing
Of this world

Verse 2
You invited me
To come for free
Enjoy the feast
You had prepared for me
Draw with laughter
From Your sparkling wells
Bathed in Your river of delights
First You led me to
The edge of the stream
Cautiously I put my ankles in
Then through with dusty
Marks to describe
And I heard You
Call me deeper still

Verse 3
I'm overwhelmed that
You've forgiven me
By Your blood I'm
Supernaturally free
How I love Your spontaneity
Your ways are far
Higher than mine
At times You fill me
Like a drunken man
At times Your power's
So strong I cannot stand
But today Your effervescent joy
Has made me irresponsibly glad