Poem by Barnsley poet Ian McMillan on the news there is to be a HUDSON TAYLOR trail in Barnsley
Presented ‘live’ on Radio 4 “Sunday”
22 January 2012
Here come the pilgrims, heads bowed, eyes shining,
excitement building, as they reach the place
where faith and history, intertwining,
put a smile on the visitor’s face.
But this isn’t Lourdes and this isn’t Mecca;
nor bejewelled tomb or holy well
can be glimpsed from upstairs on this double-decker,
coming in from Darton via Mapplewell.
This is Barnsley, Hudson Taylor’s place of birth,
and he went from here to spread good news
in China by water halfway round the earth,
and he’s too good a son for this town to lose.
So let’s trumpet his name with a statue, a plaque
to a man who left Barnsley with fire in his heart,
and now brings the visitors faithfully back:
it’s a plan, it’s a hope, it’s a start.
One Chinese Christian kissed the floor outside Boots;
well, the biggest forest starts with the smallest shoots.
(c) Ian McMillan