January is in full swing, I’ve never been very keen on January, it’s post Christmas, there is never enough light and the weather is frequently awful, still on a brighter note the building project is continuing, the stairs have been installed and there are quarry tiles on the ground floor, there’s even some plaster on the walls of the first and second floors – so lots of progress.
Would you believe we are now looking to Lent and Easter, talk about wishing the year away.
Our ‘In Conversation’ evensongs begin again this Sunday 15 January at 6pm. I will be in conversation with George Nissen. It’s going to be a fascinating evening of conversation, hymns and prayers. I do hope you can make it. Other personalities for our series include the Bishop of Kensington, Clifford Longley, Sir Alan Munro, the composer John Rutter and I hope if I can fix a date, Dame Judi Dench. Watch this space!
All those who made a journey to visit family or friends over the Christmas period, enduring strikes, traffic jams, airport queues etc, were in some way replicating a pattern of Christian pilgrimage which began with the magi.
Pilgrimage involves primarily a transformative journey that takes us from one mode of being into another, from the mundane to the spiritual. The glowing shrine of the family home, the ceremonial lunch, the giving of gifts – these elements make us view the world differently. They kindle compassion and generosity. Making a journey, a temporary removal from everyday concerns, and the experience of heightened spirituality, are all central to pilgrimage too.
We are starting, together with the parish of St Michael’s Barnes, to plan a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham this year, leaving on Monday 19th June, returning on Friday 23rd. It will be a wonderful opportunity to spend time together, getting to know one another, relaxing, worshipping and exploring some of the marvellous sights and churches in Norfolk. I shall be publishing more details shortly but in the meantime do contact me if you would like more information. The number of places is limited!
With every blessing