I rather suspected this year’s pilgrimage was going to turn out to be something special: I cannot ever remember a pilgrimage that I found so enriching and on occasions challenging and testing. I came away from this year’s pilgrimage as if I’d actually lived the theme.
Cornwall is a land of extremes. Nothing is flat! The views were incredible, the weather was everything from fantastic to windswept and wet, to positively mystic! Experiencing the land, the weather, the views, the beautiful and the remote and rugged, somehow helped you understand the dynamism of those early Celtic Cornish saints. Most of what is known about them is from legends which have often been mixed, intertwined and overlaid with each other. What cannot be questioned, however, is the mark, they left on the land they lived in.
As for the theme taken from St. Michael’s battle of good against evil, I had the distinct feeling that we had good and evil walking with us along the way. It sometimes felt as if the devil was looking for any weakness, selfishness or discomfort to exploit to cause pain or division and yet good, through prayer, love and understanding, kept on winning through.
A pilgrimage is not just a holiday, and a pilgrim is not just someone aimlessly walking around. Our journey is a shared and yet personal experience, which involves overcoming obstacles ant challenges to arrive tested but triumphant at the reward of our destination. I felt on the night of the celebration meal as if the devil had chucked in his trump card and yet at the mass the following day the power of god’s healing triumphed through. Game, set and match to God?
I have watched all five hours of the video taken on the pilgrimage… the priceless moments that are on film..... the views, the events, the singsongs, it’s all there. The pilgrimage through Cornwall was a gem. Our arrival; prayer service on the Mount and somewhat damp (the tide had come in) departure from the island are all on film. I am going to edit it down to about two and a half hours to be shown at the Reunion in Redhill so bring your popcorn with you.
As this is the Reunion of the 25th pilgrimage it would be nice to make it something special; so as an idea suggested, bring along all of your past pilgrimage crosses. We are going to try to identify and photograph for posterity as many as possible. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if you brought yourself along as well?!!!! So what if you haven’t been on a pilgrimage in 20 years! Bring along your old photos, there will be some classics in them that will bring back memories for many of us… hmmmm something tells me I might have a lot to lose from that last request?!?
One last thing I’d like to say as (eater stepping town is this: to everyone who helped, guided, supported and put up me in the organising team over the last three years I’d like to say a massive thank you. And to those of you who guessed that I really didn’t have a clue as to what was going on, thanks for your silence.... I think we got away with it!
OK Lesley, I’ve said enough..... its over to you now, you’re in charge… ha..ha..ha...tee..hee..hee....yippee…freedom! oh drat I’m still your deputy!
Love and Prayers
Pilgrims on Parade. Patrick Tierney gets the troops into shape at Porthtowan.
Next year’s Pilgrimage will be to BATH starting from Chichester and going via he Isle of Wight, much of the route will be familiar to all you Pilgrimage stalwarts as memories of Glastonbury and Buckfast come flooding back.
The last Pilgrimage to Bath was in 1986 (Wessex) and as it is our 26th Pilgrimage we are entering a “new era” in pilgrimage speak! It is a great honour and privilege to be taking over as coordinator from Patrick who has done such an excellent task during the last three years. I hope I can follow in his footsteps (but not in his boots!). As a Pilgrimage I trust in God that we can continue to share a diversity of worship, encourage others to join our Christian Pilgrimage, especially young people, maintain the pilgrimage tradition (25 years and still going strong) and achieve our aim of being truly ecumenical.
There are some other changes to the organising team; Patrick Tierney and Aidan Simons are sharing the Accommodation officer’s role, Julian has been persuaded to continue as Treasurer (and it didn’t even take ten pints) and Fran Philipps has abdicated as “Sarnie Queen”.
The route to Bath will include a rest day on the Isle of Wight and Salisbury. The Abbey at Bath has been a site of Christian worship since 676 with St. Dunstan crowning Edgar, the first King of all England in the Saxon Abbey with the present Abbey dating back in part to the 15th century and is described as “a lantern” because it has more windows than walls.
Finally, I hope to see as many of you as possible at the Reunion where we will have a display of the Crosses from all the previous pilgrimages to mark 25 years, so you may want to bring your own to “match them up” The pilgrimage will also have a display at Youthgather on 4th October so watch the next Newsletter for reports.
Simon Evans has run a 3rd London marathon this year, to raise money for Lupus. (His time this year being 4hrs 42, despite hitting the pain barrier at 13 miles with a hamstring injury. His previous times were 4hrs 48 and 4hrs 57). Simon says that it was thinking of his mum that kept him going, through the pain. Simon’s mother died, in March ‘95, after a long battle with Lupus.
Since then his marathons have raised £5-6000 for the Lupus trust. This has brought the St Thomas Institute a computer with her name on it, which will help to speed the diagnosis of other Lupus sufferers.
If the world is already so lovely, Lord,
If we look at it with peace in our eyes,
What more can you give us in another life?
That is why I am so jealous of the eyes, the face, and the body you have given me, Lord, and the heart
That beats within it always... and I fear death so!
With what other senses would you have me see
This blue sky above the mountains,
And the boundless sea, and the sun shining everywhere?
Give me eternal peace in these senses
And I shall want no other heaven but this blue sky.
The one who never said to any one moment; “Stop”
Except to the one that brought him to death.
I don’t understand, Lord,
I who would like to stop so many moments of every day
To make them eternal within my heart!...
Or is this eternal desire already death?
If that is so, what would life be?
Perhaps only the shadow of time that passes.
The illusion of what is far and what is near;
And the sum of all that is great and small
That deceives us, for everything is what it is?
What does it matter! The world, however it is,
So varied, so wide, so temporary;
This land with all that is grown in it is mine, Lord.
And could it not also be a heavenly kingdom?
I am a man and human is my measure
for all that I can believe and hope for:
If my faith and my hope end here
Will it be held against me in the hereafter?
Beyond, I see the heaven and the stars,
And even there I would like to be:
If you made things so lovely to my eyes,
If you made my eyes and my senses for them,
Why close them when seeking another way,
If for me there will be no other like this?
I know You are, Lord, but where You are, who knows?
Everything I see reminds me of you...
Let me believe, then, that you are here,
And when that fearful hour arrives
In which these human eyes are closed,
Open for me, Lord, some other greater ones
To contemplate Your immeasurable face.
May death be only a greater birth!
Translation by Angela Buxton, Joan Maragall is a Catalan poet.
Lourdes Lluch introduced it and Keith Donachie very movingly read it at a prayer stop.
Rwot mungu afoyi pi bedo ni ii
Kindea dok kamia kare mi lego
pi mar ni dok bero pa dano eni gi ceke.
Konya ka nyutu foe na ii tim na
dok I lok para de, rwot mungu.
Abefoyi pi bero ni dok abweyi i-miwa
lego mi daro woto eni dok wek lok
peri Kubero ni remanit ne obed I kingwa.
Kony wa kapoy I kum kwo mayen
Ku mar ma wodi Yesu Kristo, mio
Walegi dok wakweyi ku nying
rwodwa Yesu Kristo.
Whoko obed ni wod kumon ku tipu maleng.
Lord I thank you for your presence here
for the opportunity to pray
for your love towards me and
the friendship of my fellow pilgrims
Help me to show my gratitude in deeds as well as words
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the blessings you have given us
and ask for the strength to walk in the way you lead us all
I pray that in all the contacts and conversations between us
Your story may be enthusiastically told
and your living presence acknowledged
Help us to accept the new life and remember the love of Jesus
Through Christ I pray