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Still the night

This prayer was written for Christmas Eve. Kellingley was the last working deep coal mine in England when it closed just before Christmas. Calais is home to an informal settlement of refugees wanting to cross the Channel to the UK. You are welcome to use this yourself provided you give the name of the author.

Still the night

At Kellingley
The bells and lifts have stopped,
so have the showers.
The tunnels, shafts and changing rooms are silent now.
Is there anything left to talk about?
The death of an industry,
the decline of communities:
all is quiet.

[pause]

In Calais
At the rails snake into the dark
and the trucks queue at the entrance:
as the water drips in one tent or another
and a child wails across the wasteland,
is there anything left to talk about?
Another refugee slips away,
people smugglers win again:
all is quiet.

[pause]

Everywhere
In the darkness another family shivers.
In the cold someone else is afraid.
Meanwhile, across the world the sales begin:
there’s a surplus to shift:
but is there anything left to talk about?
The price of life, of living on the margins
with the most vulnerable ones:
if God can do it, what about us?

God of the still night
in which all are mindful of their vulnerability,
remind us of our worth to you:
when we notice the baby crying
call us to remember what a baby means to you.
Turn us towards your ways tonight and always.

Janet Lees: 22/23.12.2015