WHO better to talk about a poet - especially a Welsh poet - than
the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams? Now Master of
Magdalene College, Cambridge, he was invited to Steep Church, in
Portsmouth diocese, where Edward Thomas once
He was there to dedicate a replacement window in memory of the
poet, who died at the battle of Arras on Easter Monday 1917 - not
in the actual battle, but when he stood up to light a pipe, and was
caught in a concussive blast wave from one of the last shells
fired. Perhaps the best known of his poems is the haunting vision
of the empty railway platform at Adlestrop.
About 180 people at Steep heard Lord Williams talk about
Thomas's poetry, and its influence on his own life and poetry, and
afterwards there was a reception in the hall at Steep Primary
School. Among the many he spoke to was Jenny Sandys
(left), who runs a retreat house in the parish.