Showing posts from May, 2007

Botolph and Black Shuck

On a warm summer’s daythere’s nowhere more beautiful, nor peaceful, than IkenChurch!It stands the end of a wooded promontory jutting out into the tidal mudflats of the Rive Alde!You can get there by foot following the SuffolkCoast and Heaths Path that begins in Lowestoft! The day visitor might find it easier to walk, cycle, or motor from Snape Maltings only three miles away.
However lovely on a summer’s day, in winter with the wind straight from Siberia via the North Sea it would be quite different! Summer and winter you will find an open door during the hours of daylight.
Within an 11th Century Norman nave, is a 9th century Saxon cross, first erected to mark the place of a monastery burnt by Viking raiders.
The monastery was founded in 654 AD, the year Anna, king of East Anglia, was killed in battle against the pagan Mercians.

Its first abbot? Botolph! St. Botolph brought the Rule of St. Benedict to England. He was sought out by the Ven. Bede’s abbot, Coelfrith, who called him "a m…

St. Piran, Trethevy, Cornwall (not back home yet!)

From the Reformation until 1941 the chapel was used as agricultural buildings. It was returned to the Church by Sidney Harris - may he rest in peace and rise in glory!

© Richard Woodham 2007

St. Piran and the Conversion of Cornwall

Walking on from the Rocky Valley Labyrniths we turned left at the main road and walked up-hill to Trethevy.

St. Piran's Well and Chapel are just off the main road on the right.

I found the still centre I had been looking for here. In the cool darkness of the chapel.

Coming out into the light, I blessed God for St. Piran and the light he brought to the people of Cornwall. I prayed for the success of the continuing Christian mission here and throughout the world. And reminded myself of my own baptism, as I blessed myself with water from the well.

I set off with a new spring in my step refreshed on my earthly pilgrimage, thankful for those who keep the church open and welcoming

© Richard Woodham 2007

Still Abroad ! The Rocky Valley Labyrinth

We parked by Trevalga Church famous now through Rev'd Christine Musser and the TV programme "A Seaside Parish". Trevalga is on the sea side of the road from Tintagel to Bostcastle. From the church we went through the farm-yard and down the lane towards the coastal footpath. Turning left towards Tintagel, we enjoyed the sun, wind, flowers, birds and scenery as we looked out for puffins, razorbills and guillemots nesting on Short and Long islands - but had no luck.

There's no mistaking Rocky Valley. The path zigzagged down to a stream, which we crossed and turned left. Shortly at a ruined mill we came to the famous carvings. A week before I had run my finger around a copy made by the arts and spirituality project Breathing Space Arts ( ) The effect was to make the hairs at the back of my kneck stand on end! The originals were carved sometime between 1400 and 1800 BC! Kneeling before them and running my finger around the lines again I found…

Norfolk Pilgrim Goes Foreign

St. Winwaloe appears in Norfolk weather law - First comes David, Then comes Chad, Then comes Winnold roaring like mad (i.e. March 1st, 2nd and 3rd) . He also gave his name to the horsefair at Downham Market. How does a 5th century Cornish saint get to be remembered in Norfolk?

In France, St. Winwaloes is known as Saint Guénolé or Guennolé. His relics were transferred from a moanastery he founded at Landévennec, Brittany to Montreuil-sur-Merand away from the Viking raids in 914 AD. Following the Norman Conquest the monks of Montreuil-sur-Mer were granted land at Wereham. And so his fame and cult came to Norfolk.

Winwaloe is patron of the Lizard Peninsular and where he established a Cornish monastery. Last week I parked at Poldhu Cove and walked over the hill to Church Cove. The path was surrounded by wild flowers - bluebells, wild garlic, thrift, sea campion and the golden flowers of the gorse. High above a raven and buzzard disputed territory and newly arrived swallows swooped after…