A Holy Place

What a privilege! The minister of the church I planted forty years ago stays with me during his sabbatical study. His theme is 'What makes a place holy?' Mark. its current minister, told me how, in a previous church , they learned to listen to the neighbourhood, the church, self and God. Bowthorpe, Norwich, is 'one family of Christians for one neighbourhood'. It began with that quality of listening, and is going forward to an exciting new phase continuing that kind of listening.

On Thursday Mark accompanied me to Holy Island where I presided at the 8.0 am Holy Communion in the parish church. We spent the previous day on the island, too. He walked the pilgrim posts. We both visited the amazing archeological find of an ancient church on the heugh. Co-director and project lead Dr David Petts, of Durham University, said: This is a stunning find, of exactly the period we're looking for." This find hit the headlines. One newspaper trumpeted 'Prayer service on Holy Island after a thousand years'. Locals laughed. How many prayer services have continued every day through the last thousands years! The archeologists are dating this find as some time between 700 and 900 CE. What struck me is that the church could be seen from every part of the island, from the king's place at Bamburgh, and from the hermits' place on Farne Isle. The Cross reigned over all.

How sad that our dear friend Richard Deimel, who has done so much to re-establish Celtic Heritage in the North East of England, died without warning at the time of this find. He has died, but the Cross and the Circle live on.

Posted at 10:09am on 6th July 2017
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