A Tour With Saint Cuthbert

drove for six hours to East Anglia a week ago. Saint Cuhbert's Day was March 20; Saint Cuthbert's Sunday was March 17, which is also my sister Sally's birthday. On Sunday morning I spoke to Saint Cuthbert's Church, Sprowston, and its sister church in Norwich for  a united service.  I challenged them to catch something of Cuthbert's vision, his missionary heart, his ceaseless prayer and his good death. I then celebrated a birthday lunch with Sally  and our good friend Liz Cannon. I also visited Bowthorpe Community Garden.

Members of Bowthorpe Church, Norwich negotiated with Norwich City Council to turn the land where a large, unsafe barn had to be dismantled into a community garden run by a local Heritage Trust. Different groups, including schools, and various residents, including Muslims, take responsibility for one bed. Ten locals sustain ten different flower beds.  There are bird boxes on an arch painted by school children, a Buddleia Walk, a wood pile for hedgehogs and wild life, an insect holder, a rose bed, a small orchard with Norfolk apples, a Camomile seat, a fruit and currant bed. A Hindu grows tomatoes and black chillies. Bricks from the barn have been featured as a history wall, with art work that depicts pottery from 2,000 BC, the Danes arriving in the 11th century,  the building of the twentieth century church with its Friendship Cross, and the 21st century Heritage Group.

 The previous day the Aidan and Hilda East Anglia Group met at St. Cuthbert's for an Agape, and I gave news of the 'wildest dreams' of community  leaders and voyagers for ten years' time.  These included greater diversity, ten Aidan and Hilda houses  and task forces in three continents.

On Monday I visited the Bowthorpe workshops which are at full stretch making products for godly play, and had time with Bowthorpe's minister, Mark Elvin. Some thirty old friends turned up for an afternoon get together in the church centre.  It was wonderful to meet them all.

On Tuesday I called in at my old friends Kevin and Barbara Mayhew. Kevin, who founded the publishing firm that bears his name, is now confined to a wheel chair in his home, which it took me an hour to find!  His spirit is in great fettle and I thanked him  for his inspiration to me.  I then called in at the KM Publishers a few miles away, talked with the staff and will send them six ideas for further publications in the next days!

Wednesday began with a St. Cuthbert's Day talk at a morning Communion Service and ended with a feast in the vicarage to celebrate both Cuthbert and the birthday of Simon Stokes, the vicar and my host. I challenged everyone, at a time of Brexit testing, to rise up and take leadership in the spirit of England's first great leader - Saint Cuthbert.  Simon is amazing. He requires a blind guide dog, yet he had returned from a team trip to help an Indian Christian village, from two days in London with the Crown Appointments Commission (to appoint a new Bishop of Norwich) and departed with family at 7.0 am the next morning  for a few days holiday in France through the Channel Tunnel.  It was my delight that I met all three of their children and their partners on different days.  What a great week!

Posted at 20:58pm on 22nd March 2019
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