In this Year of Prayer, it was a particular privilege to do our annual prayer walk of dear Pagham Parish: “Beating the Bounds”! This ancient custom occurs close to Rogation Sunday, when we ask God’s blessing on the land and its people (from the Latin “rogare”, meaning “to ask”). Traditionally people would have beaten sticks around the parish boundaries, reinforcing where one place ended and another started. There is something powerful about the reminder that this is the portion of earth, these are the people with their needs and concerns, hopes and fears that the Church is called to look after. We were also blessed, as we often are, with good weather, with good food and Pimm’s, with good company and then “blessed” with a muddy bog near the end. While the children certainly delighted in the opportunity to wade through the slime, I was also glad of going barefoot: standing on the holy ground of our special parish, Pagham: God bless this land and all who dwell herein!
Rev’d Mark Eminson