Saturday, 14 September 2013

St Helena's Oratory

On a cold misty September morning we drove towards Cape Cornwall to visit St Helena's Oratory.  We were me,  Ma, Pa and Ems. The mist was swirling around us as we got out the car.  We could hear the crashing of the sea and yet we could not see the sea.  We set off across the field 100 or so metres to inspect the Holy place we had come to visit.  There it was standing in the field.  The roof was long gone but the stone built Hermitage remained. 

It led me to consider again what makes a place holy.  How is God served and his glory shared an such an isolated and remote setting.

Did I feel closer to God as I looked upon this 'holy place'.  In the rain and the mist I have to confess I did not.  It was for me an earie place.  MayBe in the sunshine I would have felt differently. 

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Worcester and on to Gloucester

Yesterday I travelled to Worcester for the priesting of my dear friend Julie. What a wonderful occassion to be in the Cathedral for.

And today to Gloucester for the ordination of Tom. Another wow worship experience.

And God is at work, gently and quietly doing his thing.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A bit of a halt!

So much has happened lately that the pilgrim in me is resting. But i have not stopped blogging or visiting the holy and thin places round about!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The National Arboretum 11-11-11

A holy place that is not included in the book!  At 4pm, we arrived at the National Arboretum, it was cold, grey and damp.  There were TV crews reporting to the world, from our memorial to those who have lost their lives, since the end of world war 2. 

There were so many names, so many lives and so many sons and daughters.  And to reflect our humanity, there was so much space, for those still living, those perhaps not yet born, who in the future will give their lives in service of our country.

This was a truly holy, place, a place where time stops, just for a moment, and those who are remembered bring us closer to God.

Lichfield Cathedral

On 11th November I visited Lichfield Cathedral.  WOW.  It is a beautiful place.

It was a cold grey day, yet the cathedral was filled with light.  The glass surrounding the high altar, had been removed for restoration and had been replaced with clear plain glass.  This bathed the cathedral in light, and as you gazed up the aisle, you could see the trees beyond, holding onto their last few leaves as winter takes it's hold.

This amazing medeival angel was found when excavations were undertaken for the installation of the Nave altar platform.  It was just amazing.  Perhaps the most holy part of the cathedral for me, was St Chad's chapel, up in the roof of the cathedral, a haven of peace and of quiet, where one could imagine spending many hours in contemplation.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Thwarted on all fronts

Being in Tenby should have provided the perfect opportunity to visit a number of the Holy Places detailed in the book.

I was thwarted on all fronts.

We tried to visit Caldey Island each day however each day there was another reason why the boat was not running.  These included....Storms forecast (the sea was like a mill pond)... the Surf is good...Wash on the beach...we turned out every day and every day there was a new reason why we could not sail.

I tried to visit the church in the nearby village, but it was closed.  I did however have an interesting conversation with a 2 year old about what gravestones were and why we should not climb on them (even though as a child I know that is what I did).

Sunday, 28 August 2011

A day of much journeying

Today I have journeyed to three of the holy places detailed in the book.  My companion on the road was Sarah and we have had a lovely afternoon.  To sustain yourself on a journey of spiritual norishment one must not forget the phsyical norishment required, so our journey began with Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding at Willington garden centre!

All Saint's Church
The church was east to find and the guide book at the church was really interesting and helpful in understanding the church.  The church family clearly embraced the young and the old and all those inbetween.  The key draw to this church, and the reason for it's entry into the book was the Medieval Wall Painting of the Crucifixion.  The fresco was indeed stunning.  It was such a pity that is seems to have deteriorated since it was first uncovered in the Victorian Era.

Turvey's Masterpiece
 We travelled from Turvey a few miles down the road to Stevington, to the church of St Mary the Virgin.

St. Mary The Virgin and Holy Well

The Holy Well
The church itself was locked, but we found the holy well on the perimeter of the church wall.

I had a desire to sit and dangle my feet in the water but I was ill prepared.  The ground around the well was wet and boggy and the praticalites of actually sitting on the edge were too many to negotiate.  I did try to dip a toe down into the water and thank goodness Sarah was with me, or else I could still be there now having dicovered that my arms and indeed my legs were not as long as I had thought!

The third visit of the day was to Eltisley to the church of St Pandionia and St John the Baptist.  The church was locked and we could not find the destroyed holy well.  However we did glimse the pond in the neighbouring property which is thought to locate the location of the former holy well.

St Pandionia & St John the Baptist
The pond which was perhaps once a well

Having started with food, we thought that perhaps we should end with food, so we went to Waresley Park for wonderful coffee/hot chocolate and cake.

A wonderful afternoon.   It has however let me to consider what makes a place holy... and on this I shall reflect further.