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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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God in all Places

Monday 8th March 2021
Paul Heppleston

I wonder how many of you can remember Pilgrim Adventure. That's how Journeying started (it was about 10 years ago that the name was changed). There's quite a bit of overlap between what is meant by 'journeying' and what is meant by 'pilgrimage'. And these days they can almost describe the same thing. We can think about the journey of life as being a pilgrimage with the ultimate destination being God; the paradox is that God is also on the journey with us - and was there encouraging us when we set off at the start.....God being at our beginnings, accompanying us through life and waiting for us at the gate to new life. It's the journey and the destination. As…

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St David's Day - March 1st

Monday 1st March 2021
Iain Tweedale

David was born around 520 and died on 1st March 589. He established his monastery on the banks of the River Alun and must have been pretty tough as he was known for standing chest deep in the river and reciting the psalms, which earned him the nickname of the Waterman. He travelled to Jerusalem where he was given the title of bishop and on his return he founded monasteries all over Wales and the south west of England, including Glastonbury. The town that took his name grew up at the site of the monastery and had already become a major pilgrimage destination by the time the Normans built their huge cathedral on the site to house his relics in…

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Twenty Years of Journeying

Tuesday 23rd February 2021
Steve Evemy

Twenty years ago, my wife saw an advert in the Church Times for a trip to Saint Kilda. She knew that I had read about this remote place, and suggested that I book myself onto the trip. So, I did. Before then I had never been north of Edinburgh. I went with an old school-friend, and enjoyed the experience. That was my first contact with Journeying, then called Pilgrim Adventure. The following year I took my older son, John, who was then 12, on a Journeying trip to SW Ireland. He still remembers climbing Skellig Michael, and seeing the puffins scurrying to their burrows within a few feet of us, as do I. …

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Journey into silence and contemplation

Monday 15th February 2021
Karen Garrett

Hi I'm Karen and I live in the beautiful Isle of Man and this is my faith journey... It started when I was a child but became real as a teenager and older adult. Over the years my faith developed through attending and leading youth groups, being part of a Beach Mission team for over 30 years, and going to various gospel rallies and Spring Harvest in the early eighties. Going from a small Island to a massive tent full of worshippers at Prestatyn was a bit of a shock to my system at first but it became an annual event for a few years. Looking back, I realise how important it had been to me to be nourished away from traditional Church.…

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Friday 29th January 2021
David Harkell

Sky azure, faintest breeze, Golden twilight orb lies low; Rays too weak to lift the freeze, Woods beclothed in orange glow. Rigid, sombre, naked trees, Rooted under layers of time; Branches covered once with leaves, Unprotected now from rime. Crispy grass, crunchy mud, Stagnant streams in ditches dim. Fields stark drenched by flood, Scarce a bird on perch or wing. Glistening cobwebs, clodded earth, Ploughed-up furrows creviced deep. Silvery haze of moonlight's birth, Shimmering beams inducing sleep. Murky mere in forest glade, Surface masking hidden bed. Shadows lurk as daytime's fade Cedes to dusk's encroaching tread. Sinking 'neath the pink horizon, Solar halo ebbs away; Darkness spreads his mantle iron, Night arriving, fleeing day. Paling embers slowly die, Wispy clouds exchanging hue. Twinkling stars catching eye, Sprinkled heavens' generous strew. Eerie silence steals, becalms; Echoes past of hectic bustle. Stillness casts her gentle charms, Easing inner, tensive tussle. Blackness lays his mood…

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Lakeland Journey

Tuesday 19th January 2021
David Gleed

This June, 2021, we once again travel to the Lake District in England's North West. Here's a look back to an earlier trip in 1991... The beautiful Lakes, that collection of poetic landscapes, vistas and waters in the far north west of England - a favourite tramping ground of poets and pilgrims alike... Bristol, Birmingham, the journey for many began with a pick-up in the minibus. "Hello and this is... and shall I put your bag on the roof?" And then we were off again; Lancaster, Preston... Two hours at a stretch, no more and then a break for refreshment, often at a motorway service station - I came to like these places; little Oasis on the…

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Advent Poems

Tuesday 22nd December 2020

ADVENT By Jennifer Rowell A very special time of year. D istant music - church bells ring. V isual imprints on our minds. But wait - E mmanuel, Jesus is coming, angels are singing. N o pretence this time. T riumphant return of Christ our King. At last. BONFIRE By Elizabeth Fenney Too many voices alive and dead profane the silence in my head. I rake in memory's ache, hoist high thorny freight, weight of story not told, remembered; plunge it into bonfire's core. Pungent as incense rises the flame. Blaze roars, smelts gold from soul's dross in scorched embers; calms itself, sound gone to ground, gash of ash place of grace. I step from my shoes sole on earth await what God will bring to birth. A POEM FOR ADVENT By Sue Peachey "The bells of waiting Advent ring" Is how the poem goes, But when will our bells ring…

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