Lock-Down Poetry: Facebook Church

A Contribution to our poetry series on the Sarum College Blog, by Barbara Priest


I live with Richard, my husband, and rehomed Westie, Sweep, (who is my devoted ‘Study Buddy’) in beautiful rural North Dorset where my husband is vicar of the Stour Vale Benefice. I work as the administrator for both a neighbouring Team Ministry and also a music archive company. I am approaching the end of my second year at Sarum College where I am training as a Licensed Lay Minister; a ministry I am passionate about and feel is gravely undersold within the Church of England!

During lockdown I have been fortunate to work safely from home, and my love of walking, gardening and music have all offered sanctuary and escape during the ongoing isolation. Naturally a contemplative, I am usually content with my own company but I treasure the balance of living within a community and have missed my friends and our parishioners terribly.

Poetry is another of my loves but this offering is one of my first attempts to write something myself. Until the lockdown, the Stour Vale was in blissful ignorance of things digital and “Facebook Church” grew out of my task of setting up and monitoring our online presence. The appreciation of our attempts to stay together as a worshipping community has been substantial but, as I watched my own spiritual role overtaken by that of digital technician, it did occur to me whether we had taken God out of one ‘cage’ and put him into another…?


Facebook Church


Five, Four, Three, Two, One – on air!

For now, at least, until technology issues creep in, unannounced.

Is there anybody out there?

Is anyone watching or listening or caring?

Is God?

Or is he too busy banging on the screen to be let out?

Poor God…we caged him in church buildings,

but at least there was room to move around,

people to sit with, to listen to, to nudge, to console.

Now He is caged in a computer,

with no elbow room and only wires for company.

It must be very lonely in there.

I wonder if God asks “Is there anybody out there?

Is anyone watching or listening or caring?”

And I wonder if He gets a reply…


Barbara Priest


Read the Sarum Blog to keep up to date with our poetry selection.

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