(Inspired by the end of the Miners’ strike leading to the closure of mines in the North East)
They marched proudly,
those broken men who broke the coal
that fuelled the Nation.
The bowels of the earth
are silent now as are
the spirits within.
Yet, entering their Cathedral
they filled that ancient space
Even in brokenness they transcended
actions of Powers
who would have preferred them to be silent.
… and Bishop Jenkins wept.
(the miners’ strike lasted from 1984-5. At the end the Government got its way and closed a lot of pits, throwing over 25,000 out of work. Many communities suffered and bear the scars still. For his love, care and support Bishop David Jenkins was called, the Miners’ Bishop’. During his sermon at the Gala Service, he broke down in tears for his beloved mining communities and for those who were desperate with need)
Today (July 9th) the Miner’s Gala, normally an annual event, has returned to Durham, after Covid. 5 new Banners (a feature of the Gala) were dedicated and blessed by the present Bishop of Durham, during the service in the Cathedral.