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Journeying Poetry Competition 2021

Wednesday 8th September 2021
David Gleed

Welcome to the first Journeying Poetry Competition! Poems inspired by a pilgrim-journey to one or other of the Christian pilgrimage sites of Britain and Ireland, or by a longing to undertake that journey, are invited for the first Journeying Poetry Competition. Getting your entry in Entries should be emailed to and arrive no later than midnight (GMT) on Saturday 23rd October 2021. The winning entry will be announced on the 15th November 2021. Just one entry per person. There is no charge. Keep it original Entries must be original and not previously published elsewhere. All entries will be judged anonymously. Copyright remains with the author. The prize The winner will receive a first competition certificate signed by the judges and a ten percent discount on…

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Journeying on the Isle of Man - August 2021

Saturday 28th August 2021
David Heathcote

Saturday saw most of us arriving on the Island by air or sea, with our leaders transferring us to Peel on the west coast of the Island. Our group were housed in different properties overnight, but the Deanery was our base where we prepared & ate food, got to know each other, had times of prayer & reflection - and tackled a fiendish 1000 piece "turkey" jigsaw throughout the week! Sunday morning offered a choice of churches for those who wished to join in communal worship. After lunch, Rosemary & Karen led us up to the viewpoint on Peel Hill and along the cliffs. Meanwhile, Phil had collected our final arrival from Douglas, and they caught us up along the coast…

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Cumbrian Cistercian Way - Diary of a Journey, 21st-26th June 2021

Wednesday 14th July 2021
Sue Peachey

On Day 1 we all arrived at our hotel in Grange-Over-Sands and got to meet one another in our allocated sitting room before dinner. As this was the first Journeying trip to take place since 2019 we were all very Covid aware, but the hotel was completely geared up for the safety of their guests so we need not have worried. On Day 2 after morning worship we went to Cartmel and looked around the Priory, where there was an interesting exhibition of painted masks, made by people to express how they had felt during the pandemic. It was very thought provoking. Some of us then partook of the famous Cartmel sticky toffee pudding, before walking quite a long way around…

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Leading on the Trail… some personal reflections

Tuesday 15th June 2021
Ian Coward, Journeying Leader

It begins with ideas and inspiration to explore combined with the anticipation of new places and people to meet. The curiosity and excitement ensues as the planning begins. Maps and the internet become the first experience of the journey to see the reality take shape. It's time to go! The arrival and first meeting of strangers. Often very polite but a sense of asking why are we all here. What have we brought to this time and place to reflect upon, recover from or take forward. A unique time where relationships are formed to prepare for deeper discussions to come. The journey begins and slowly day by day a new rhythm becomes the norm. One of simplicity and consistency that…

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On the Holy Mountain

Saturday 5th June 2021
Cate Macfarlane

In June 2005, leaders Cate Macfarlane and Steve Evemy, travelled with a group to the West of Ireland. They climbed Mount Brandon. These are Cate's thoughts on that climb... Vast, immovable, haughty in her grandeur, the mountain drew us towards her. Soft and rough, grey and green, she revealed more of her great expanse as we climbed ever upwards. Reciting Brendan's Prayer, we remembered fellow pilgrims who had conquered different trails on the towering rock. Mount Brandon, on the south-west coast, in Dingle, Co. Kerry, is the second highest mountain in Ireland, 953 metres high. The ruins of St Brendan's Oratory mark the summit of the mountain. The legend is that the navigator saint climbed the mountain with his seafaring monks to prepare them physically and…

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Saturday 15th May 2021
David Gleed

Marooned on a tidal island; rescued by a minibus driven through a rapidly rising tide; becalmed on a ferry with engine trouble; towed to shore by the rival firm! Our first journey to Ireland was to prove a time of high adventure... Late afternoon, September 14th 1994, and twelve pilgrims are on board the old mail boat noisily pushing its way through a breezy sea toward St Colman's island home, Inishbofin, a few miles off the coast of County Galway. Midway through the voyage a sudden judder from the engines broke the friendly banter and craic of the travellers; we stood in unexpected silence, save for the wash of the sea against the hull and the cry of gull's overhead. We…

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Some Reflections on Bardsey Island

Thursday 15th April 2021
David Pott

I had the good fortune to spend the first five days of October 1996 at the hermitage on Bardsey Island. I am writing these reflections because, in the context of the current resurgence of interest in Celtic Christianity, I do not think the importance of Bardsey has been properly understood. Iona is regarded as the most important island in Scotland associated with Celtic Christianity, and Lindisfarne has a similar importance in England, but Bardsey, which is the most important island in Wales associated with Celtic Christianity, is not so well known. I would like to make a few comparisons which will begin to establish the significance of this island for us today. Firstly, the island, unlike Iona and Lindisfarne, was situated on…

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Book Review: God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew

Thursday 8th April 2021
David Gleed

I had been aware of this book for years and thought about reading it on many occasions, before eventually sitting down one lockdown afternoon and making a start. Pace, adventure, a gripping human story and the whole thing simply abounding in trust, faith, hope and love... Why had I waited so long to read such an inspiring and well written book. Son of the village blacksmith, Andrew (Anne van der Bijl) grew up in the polder land of Holland. Having joined the army in 1946 he saw active service in Indonesia, before returning home wounded, where one stormy winter's night in 1950 he turned himself over to God - lock, stock and adventure. Materially poor and often finding himself in dangerous…

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Thursday 25th March 2021
David Arkell

Praise exultant, cheerful voice, Souls uplifted swell, rejoice, Keen to pave the season's way; Winter knows he cannot stay. Snowdrops gather in their throng Bursting forth with merry song. Daffodils in youthful zest Flaunting halo effloresced. Streams of living water quench Wastelands with abundant drench. Linger not on former things, See the new leap up on wings1 - Eagles soaring, graceful flights,2 Swooping down to novel sights; Untapped well of full potential Grounded in the reverential View of His encircling strength, Limitless in breadth and length;3 Pearls exceeding all conception,4 Blessings showered with affection.5 Freed from shackles holding fast,6 Gripped no longer by the past. Through the desert forge a trail,7 King approaching - let us hail! Vital Source of primal might, Healing glow with gleaming white; Rhythmic step in vibrant dance, Rhapsody of vernal prance! River's bounty, brimming delight,8 Darkness scattered, brilliant Light;9 Fountain feeding spirit's life,10 Nurturing…

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The Triskelion Way - a modern pilgrimage trail

Tuesday 16th March 2021
Phil Craine

The Triskelion Way is a modern pilgrimage trail in the Isle of Man, running 36 miles across the Island through superb scenery, linking the historic Christian centres of Rushen Abbey, Peel Cathedral and Maughold. Since the route was created in 2016, a four-day pilgrimage has been organised each year to help embed the trail physically and in spirit and prayer. In 2020 this was planned for early May but looked like going the way of all flesh when the Covid curtain descended in the Spring. However an early lifting of lockdown allowed the event to be hastily re-organised for the final four days of August. Ancient heritage would be visited along the way: keeills (early chapels), carved…

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