Writing Prompt Story Starter: Little Church

story starter

This week’s Story Starter is inspired by lots of our public spaces opening up again, which is welcome news.

This includes places of worship — churches, mosques and synagogues, meeting houses and temples.

Many are open already for private worship, and some services and gatherings are possible with social distancing and other safety measures in place.

So, in a timely fashion, I bring you this little church!

If you’ve been on one of our “Friend” Warner holidays, you may recognise it the lovely little church of St Thomas, in Cricket St Thomas.

There’s been a church on this site since the 12th century; the present building dates from the 14th century, and was rebuilt for Lord Bridport in 1868.

Like many of our older buildings, there’s history here. Stained glass and monuments, and interesting tombs made from local stone.

So how can a little church help your writing this week?

An excellent setting for stories

Places of worship mean so much to so many people — primarily as spaces to pray and for services, of course, but also as places of welcome, social events, and to meet friends. The focus on the people rather than the building.

In our little churches, that might mean parish councils. Flower arranging. Sunday school. Bell-ringing.

Big old doors. Lychgates, and pews.

The choir can be an excellent setting for stories, as choirs can be small or large, with lots of interesting characters!

The permanent nature of churches. There year in, year out, as we celebrate happy times and sad. Christenings, weddings and communions, funerals and services of remembrance.

Contemporary and historical stories — “The Vicar Of Dibley”, and Anthony Trollope’s “Barchester Towers”. Crime-solving clergymen and women, like our own Sister Ursula.

Moving with the times. Lady vicars, and services streamed online. Helping the less fortunate. Welcoming the stranger.

Stories set throughout the year, on saints days and summer fairs, Easter and Christmas.

And talking of Christmas, we’re now looking for stories for “Friend” Christmas issues now. Christmas in July!

Looking for another Story Starter? Click here to browse all our previous suggestions.

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!