David: Churchyard exploring today and I was having to explain what a lychgate was and why there use to be a need for a covered gate at the edge of the churchyard. Describing that, how in the past, most corpses were interred in just a shroud, how the priest needed a covered space from the elements when performing the first part of the burial service at the gate, made me think how lovely it would be to have lychgates in our lives whenever we are undergoing a moment of transition – to have shelter from the elements as we open and close gates on our journey through life.
Jo: There is a particularly fine lychgate, thatched, in the village of Long Compton, just a few miles from me. I never realized that this was their function. They do mark that transition so well from one physical space to another. I guess my mental lychgate is achieved by meditation. That is where I attempt to gain shelter from the elements, to stop and sit for awhile, before I re-engage and go on my way.