The Leaves of Southwell
Project Resources


Gracious God, source of life,
we praise you for the wonder and diversity of the natural world,
and we thank you for the genius of the craftsmen
who carved the Chapter House leaves that speak to us still.
Open our hearts and minds to your guiding Spirit,
that we may discern together
how best to cherish this good earth
and safeguard its resources.
As we listen to the leaves,
show us how to share in creation’s song
and rediscover our harmony in you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Green Man by Mary West

Deep in the cathedral of a wood
In the greenness of the green
A master mason’s inspiration
Was fired – to carve a perfect
Replica of leaves and plants
In honey-coloured stone
To the glory of God.
To recreate organic truth in
The leaf’s shape,
The stem’s curve,
The vessels of veins,
The texture of fruit.
To capture for posterity
The round oak leaf, the pointed maple,
The silkworm’s mulberry, the vine,
Bryony, bittersweet, buttercup,
The wild rose, the hairy hop,
The hawthorn’s scarlet berries.

Enter the polygon —

Close your eyes, feel the green
Feel the seasons –
In the hushed silence
You might hear an acorn drop
A leaf fall
A petal open –
The eternal green
Cycle of Nature surrounds you
The past is present,
The Green man winks!