Bees, Cells And Steroids

A former Government envoy came to the Whitehouse. He reflected that politicians can be reduced to a game of who shouts loudest, and city financiers can be reduced to a game of who gets most now. ‘How can ordinary people help to build a society that works for the whole community?’ I asked. ‘Learn from the bees and from the bee keeper I have just visited’ he said. He had talked to the owner of Chain Bridge Honey Farm, whose honey is unsurpassed. The owner could have purchased vast new swathes of heathered land beyond his personal oversight and become very rich. But he decided that “enough was enough”. He farmed what he needed and what he could do well, and observed the seasons, thus making space for others to work in similar ways and for human rhythms and relationships.

Our friends in the Norfolk based Order of St. Luke are here. Sister Penny has joined a church down south whose vicar wanted a member of a religious community to pattern for the parish a rhythm of prayer. This is the Archbishop of Canterbury's idea: get an old or new monastic into every church and recover the contagious habits of prayer. Some of the old Orders are dispirited. Small, flexible new monastic groups are relishing the adventure. Malt Cross, a café ministry at the heart of Nottingham's disjointed night life, discovered cellars beneath led into ancient monastery sites. A grant has enabled them to renovate these and put in a praying new monastic group.

We journeyed to Ely Cathedral where the Bishop received the life vows of Ryk and Liz in the chapel of King's School opposite. I stayed on in Cambridge to meet with dear friends who are suffering much. Yet the doctor among them, seeing how incapacitated I have suddenly become (I can hardly move because of the pain in the bones and fibres), diagnosed poly neuralgic rheumatism. She said four months on steroids should cure it. The steroids will give me energy and I will put on weight. This is subject to seeing my doctor next week. Watch out!

Posted at 12:39pm on 5th November 2014
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