It’s time to reveal the winners of the St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral poem competition for 2023. Many thanks go to our competition judge, Fr Jason Hobbs, for taking on the difficult challenge of picking the top poems. Here’s what Fr Jason said about the poem entries.
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the poems. They were funny, sad, emotional, and spiritual. The authors have obviously put a lot of thought and effort into writing them.
The two poems written by the under 18s were very different and it was a hard task to select a winner. I eventually decided on Poem Number 10, “To our Grandma Irene”, as it was so expressive. Poem Number 2, “The Prodigal Cat”, comes a very close second place.
As for the over 18 category, poems 11, 13 and 14 deserve special mention. They had real emotion and caused me to reflect on my own feelings on life and loss. Reading about the adventures of Princess Margaret was fun!
However, there must be a winner. After careful reflection, I’ve decided on Poem Number 1, “St Mary’s”. It is a truly special, spiritual place. Being there surely does remind us of the presence of the restoring power of God.”
The winning poem for the over 18 category is: “St Mary’s” by Dr Nicola Mills.
The silence of the place falls softly round you When worshippers have gone or work is done, The light through windows slants across the chancel, The colours fading with the setting sun. It seems as if they gather round about you All those who have belonged and worshipped there A century and a half of love and friendship A century and a half of song and prayer Of fervent pleas and grateful glad thanksgiving, Our faith set in the One that we adore: When humans fail and all the world is shaken, We know that in the end, God will restore.
The best poem from the Under-18 poets is Poem Number 10 “To our Grandma Irene”, by Lauren, Liam and Isla.
To our Grandma Irene
Someone who was in my life For so very long Now I'm trying to find a way To learn how to be strong I think of things you used to say And all that you would do At some point every single day My thoughts will turn to you You never know how important someone is Until they're no longer here I know that's the reason why Each day I shed a tear To lose you was a bitter wrench The pain cut to my core I cried until my tears ran out And then I cried some more Saying that I miss you Is an understatement for sure Because now for my loneliness I don't have a cure This wouldn't be your wish for me That I'd be ever sad So I will remind myself Of happy times we've had I miss everything about you I do wish there was a way That I could close my eyes And have you back with me today I know I can't be with you now And you can't be with me But safe inside my heart you'll stay That's where you'll always be
Runner-up in the Under-18s category is Poem Number 2, “The Prodigal Cat” by Master John Chimara.
The Prodigal Cat
The Prodigal Cat, beside the bay, It shines so bright, as bright as the day. The cat called Penny, She lacked a penny. She asked old paps, For the good old tips. Attracting with money, But lost your honey. Working hard, Purring disregard. The cat walked home, After world of Penny’s adventure; She felt like a dome, and I hear halleluja!
Many thanks to all the entrants for their great poems and for the very welcome donations.
The Fundraising and Social Team