Showing posts from October, 2006

Burgh Castle

Where curlews cry,looking west across Breydon Water to the Berney Arms and Windmill and the marshes beyond, stands four-square the walls of Burgh Castle. Here they have stood for over 1600 years! Within these walls a young Irish abbot and his wandering monks built their home sometime around the year 632 AD. The castle was the gift of Sigbert the first Christian King of East Anglia. From here, the faith spread upriver, westwards to the North Folk and along the WaveneyValley. You might say BurghCastle is one of the cradles of Christian faith!The Fursey Pilgrims( came into being to remind people of these, all but forgotten, fathers in Christ. On the first Saturday in October they make an annual pilgrimage to the site. But you could go any time! Canon David Abraham, who led the 2006 pilgrimage tells that, it was a series of visions of the afterlife that so fired the saint that he became an evangelist. “They profoundly affected his teaching and preaching, and gave …

Of Beavers, Skylarks and Cats

The BabingleyRiver has long been tamed, but in days gone past it was treacherous! It was a tidal estuary where, the story goes, St. Felix, the first person to evangelise the East Anglians, was shipwrecked – shipwrecked and then rescued by beavers!Apart from the (now dilapidated) village sign celebrating Felix and the beavers, farm buildings,a ruined 15th century church and a charming “tin tabernacle” there’s not much left of old Babingley! But there is archaeological evidence of a once bustling settlement around the church. Knowing the way missionaries operated in the early days of Christianity in East Anglia, it is safe to guess that Felix established a monastery and evangelised the whole area from here. There is nothing to see at the church but a well marked permissive path takes today’s pilgrim 2 ½ miles in a circular route around the church, through wide meadows and open skies. The walk begins opposite the place where the B1439 joins the A149. It follows the farm track past the fa…

Mannington July

In early July the Rev’d Jane Durell visited Mannington Hall’s boardwalk and bird hide.We arrived as the light was beginning to fail. Coming from noisy Norwich, the great stillness impressed me - just the whisper of the wind in the mature willows surrounding the wet meadow. All the colours were muted and harmonious, almost as if a mist was beginning to rise.We were privileged to see a Barn Owl slowly and silently beating it’s way back into the trees. My friend said it was carrying something - I wondered if it was taking supper home to a hungry nest full?We had passed the sign announcing parking for “the less able”, and ventured down a narrow, grassy and overhung path to find a neat parking place cut in the undergrowth conveniently close to the board walk. From there it was an easy push to get among the marsh flowers and grasses. Hundreds and hundreds of them in all directions – beautiful! Some I knew - others I did not! Red Campion; and shyly peeping out, Ragged Robin; Orchids, some si…

Spixworth in Spring

“Consider, the flowers of the field” says Jesus. As Winter gives way to Spring, it is the flowers of the woodland that lead the way but it’s the same idea! Aconites, snowdrops, primroses, bluebells, orchids…… Snowdrops were being celebrated at St. Peter, Spixworth on Sunday 12th February 2006 with an open day and walks in the churchyard and the surrounding countryside. Unfortunately the heavens were open that day too and February Fill-Dyke lived up to its name! St. Peter’s repeated the exercise on 26th February. On Monday 1st May between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. it was Bluebell Day at Spixworth. Beginning at the church there were walks of various lengths - ¾, 11/2 or 3 miles - with prayer stations on the way, as children’s environmental activities and refreshments.

Jesus’ spiritual practice led him away from the towns and villages. Many of us need to go “apart from the world” too. At bluebell time one of the places worth retreating to is Foxley Wood. It is a true sanctuary, Norfolk’s …

Considering the Birds

For those who first brought the Christian faith to Norfolk the wild goose was a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The creator spirit that brooded over the face of the waters in the beginning, continues to hatch out things out today! The mighty rushing winds, fiery sunrises and sunsets and hundreds of thousands of over-wintering geese suggest that north Norfolk in winter could be a place of extended Pentecost!

At the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (R.S.P.B) Reserve at Snettisham you may be lucky enough to see thousands of Pink Footed Geese fill the air at dawn and nightfall on their way between roost and feeding grounds.

Waiting for the birds can teach much about the dynamics of what it is to watch and pray. Sometimes the birds don’t show for some reason. When they do, how the heart skips! Responding in praise one cannot avoid joining in the hymn of the universe as Creation sings the praise of the Creator. Psalm 148 provides words for the experience – “Wild beasts and all cattle, c…