Pictish Monasteries: High Street Monasteries

I spent two and a half days visting

sixth or seventh century Pictish monasteries.The Picts were the original Scots, before the Irish colonised and Christianised southern Scotland. Picts were evangelised by Celtic Britons such as Ninian, by Irish Christians from Iona, and by God-inspired wandering hermits.

I took an hour's boat trip to the Isle of May, far out in the Firth of Forth, where Saint Ethernan is first thought to have settled. Excavations in the nineties revealed evidence of thisl Then to Dull, near Abernethy, and its three remaining Celtic standing stones. I could not resist a return visit to Glen Lyon. There a little hamlet is still known as Eonan Hamlet. Eonan is another name for Admonan, an Iona Abbot, who is thought to have established a little monastery there.

My new book co-authored with Simon Reed is out. It is entitled High Street Monasteries:Fresh Expressions of committed Christianity. It explores the incoming tide of new monasticism, and how it can become the heart of our global village. It surveys five waves of new monasticism, unearths forgotten treasures-for-today from old monasticism, addresses hard questions for new monastics and explores the idea of 'the universal monk' in everyone. The final chapter looks at fresh expressions of church, and how villages of God can evolve. It gives examples of little experiments around the world and provides a conceptual plan of a village of God. It then explores how the parts can embrace a sustainable spirituality and link with the greater whole. It moves into lateral thinking and makes proposals for villages of God around cathedrals and in capital cities. Could a village of God in London embrace Holy Trinity Brompton, Brompton Oratory and the Russian Orthodox Cathedral? Simon Reed writes a brilliant appendix on 'Followers of the Way: Biblical Foundations for Monastic Living.' Over one hundred notes on sources are included.

We hope you will find helpful anything that is written about your own connection. Available from good bookshops or In UK: Kevin Mayhew www.kevinmayhew.com In North America: www.mayhewbrodt.com In Australasia: Willow Publishing Pty Ltd info@willowconnection.com.au.

Posted at 10:20am on 31st May 2009
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