Showing posts from May, 2008

John the Baptist and his Dad

I'm just into name dropping now! Did I tell you about going to visit the head of John the Baptist at the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus or St. Zecharia at the Umayyad Mosque in Allepo

I wasn't much impressed by the tomb of Salladin but felt I need to show my respects and apolgise for Richard Coeur de Lion. And I wasn't too fussed by visiting the chapel at the place where St. Paul was allegedly let down from the walls. They would, I'm sure have chosen a place well away from a gate and sentries if he was making a get away! I liked the House of Annanias. That was believable !

OK if you are doing believable then, no I don't think it is John the Baptist's relics. There are two churches in France that claim that distinction. One having the head of John the Baptist as a young man! But I liked being welcome in the Mosque and having the Prophet John the Baptist, Peace be upon him, in common with the Moslems and I liked praying there and daring to hope that the prophecy of I…

Kissing Lazarus

There's a story untold in the Bible how the returned to life Lazarus went on to be the first Bishop of Larnaka and in the Church of St. Lazarus in Larnaka you can see, in a crypt beneath the high altar, the stone coffin in which he lay.

I went down into the crypt,  reminded  of both the Cave of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.  I've kissed the rock in both places! But there was to be no kissing Lazarus, yet!

The coffin is empty! He has not yet been raised from the dead a second time, in spite of the empty tomb! His body was nicked by the high principled Crusaders who took it off to Marsailles! There is no need to rely on a Homeopathic Theory of relics - there's a holy place where the relic used to be - to get close and cuddly with Lazarus. They conveniently left a portion of his skull behind.

It is kept, upstairs in the church, in a golden relique in the church!

Kneeling in the near darkness of the crypt tomb gave a profound experience my …

Committed to Growth

The Church of England Diocese of Norwich has a bad attack of the intiatives - caught it from the politicians I shouldn't wonder! Committed to Growth, it's called! For busy church people it can seem like a burden - Do something more! Be more committed! it seems to shout. Those of us with long memories and a touch of the cynic about us remember Moving Forward and from Maintenance to Mission ( nobody really wanted people to cease maintenance on the 600+ medieval churches in the diocese to cease from maintenance no matter what the slogan said!)

I was turning these things over in my mind as I hiked through Cypriot vinyards. I knew the Allegory of the Vine (John 15) as well as the next well educated person in the pew. What I had forgotten, even if I had originally known, was how harshly a vine-dresser cuts back.

There in the vinyard were these dead looking sticks. That's what Committed to Growth looks like!
©Richard Woodham 2008

Pilgrim Path 2008

Accompanied Walks in 2008

On pilgrimage we are brothers and sisters of Christ sharing the path and one another’s company.Mindful of our own and our companions’ need for silence or talk—we share bothWe try to be aware of the presence of the risen Lord who promises to be with us ‘til the end of timeHe is the way who’s gracious call we follow.Little journeys are sacramental of the bigger journeyWe make space to consider the birds of the air and flowers of the field andExpect to be refreshed
You are invited to join us on the following days:-1st July at 6.30 p.m. meet on the southern end of the seafront at Walcott Gap. Map Ref:- 35915,32955. An gentle walk along the seashore turning in land and returning via Broomholm Priory for a fish supper on the shore16th August at 1130 a.m. meeting at 40 Anchor Street, Coltishall we proceed by land or river to St. Peter, Belaugh and return for a barbecue and shared lunch. (Please let us know a few days in advance if you intend coming to this one!)4th Oc…

On yer bike!

The long summer days and quiet Norfolk lanes make this a great time to get on a bike! It’s a great way of seeing the country and a perfect way to get the exercise that’s so good for you. With legs pumping and heart rate raised one can feel one’s self unwind as spinning wheels eat up the miles. Is it sometime since you were in the saddle - perhaps not since you were a kid? The sheer exhilaration of going downhill with the wind in your hair hasn’t altered. It’s still great fun!Fun remains an un-negotiable aspect of Christian living, part of the child-likeness that allows entry to the Kingdom of God! Besides, rising fuel costs and the need to reduce our carbon footprint, makes cycling a moral choice. There’s no better time to give it a try!Gliding through country lanes gives an opportunity to consider the flowers of the field and the birds of the air. And if while peddling you encounter a burning bush or pearl of great price it is easy to stop and look and wonder. Praying’s easier too! P…