Eight Dutch Friends

They were all members of a singing group. They all got married and pursued separate careers - social workers, teachers, film-maker. Their views as Christians range from what we might call leftwing to rightwing. Yet for twenty years they have remained friends, and each year they visit some place together.

This year they chose Lindisfarne. All rooms on the island were booked, so they slept in Berwick. I agreed to receive them at my house at 10.30 am on Friday. Eight very real men, oozing energy, walked in. 'We have hundreds of questions' said Jelle, and they fired off. 'Why did you come here?' 'Can you convert a nation as well as a person?''Will you bless us?' were starters.

Seventy minutes passed in a flash. I told them we had Midday Prayer. They came. Our Retreat House manager, Naomi, will marry Dutchman Peter Zwaal this coming Saturday. Peter conversed with them in Dutch, and discovered that one was a lecturer at his university. They departed, happy. Now it's all hands on deck for the wedding.

But I fly off the following day to Ireland: A Church of Ireland clergy conference at Dingle; a meeting with Catholic pilgrim developers at Kilrush, a public meeting at Ennis. Whatever next?.

Posted at 03:01am on 6th October 2011
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