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A Post Christian Pilgrim Destination

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It was a long overdue visit for this Norfolk Pilgrim. Seeing a re-creation of the informal shrine - with flowers, candles and messages -  outside Kensington Palace, on the 20th Anniversary of Princess Diana's death reminded me. to make the journey. In the 20 years that separate us from the events of that autumn, informal shrines have become the norm. The last I had visited was beneath the fire blackened Grenfell Tower at the other end of the Kensington.


This week I finally got round to visiting Kensington Gardens. The Google Map shows the relative positions of the palace, the Memorial Playground and Memorial Fountain. Seen as a whole, it could be one big Princess Diana Pilgrimage destination. Not the only one, of course, her grave is on an island at the Althorp Estate is another.
My visit to the Memorial Fountain gave me most to think about. Like other pilgrim destinations,  the  fountain is :-  1) Elemental  - made from Cornish granite, with water splashes borne by the wind, ben…

Jim Cotter, Aberdaron and Mortality

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St. Hywyn's Church, Aberdaron  sits at the end of North Wales' Llyn Peninsular.  It was once the jumping off point for pilgrims on their way Bardsey Island  - Ynys Enlli  -  The burial place of 20,000 saints.
"Sauntering Around St.Hywyn's : a brief guide to our church" is the work of a previous Vicar. Its final paragraph gives pause for thought:
If you think of a lifetime as a pilgrimage, say half a mile a year down the Llyn Peninsular, when you reach Aberdaron you will be near the end of your life. The peninsular narrows, the sea (the eternal?) gets closer and closer on both sides. Eventually it ends at a point. It is yet another "eye of the needle". You can no longer return. You are slimmed down to get through that eye. Think, though, of how much can be stored on a microchip invisible to the naked eye. And the day comes to trust ourselves to that point, and launch into the beyond from the tip of the peninsular. Pilgrim soul, fare forth. Fare well. Jim C…

Apolgies due........

Just back from church and an important discussion with Sylvia and Sue! I had read the gospel with my usual dramatic flair. They had heard it and nearly walked out! Why wouldn't you? St.Matthew's Sermon on the Mount - 

‘It was also said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.” But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.'

I should have said something in a sermon to put it in its context! As it was, our discussion afterwards went someway to putting it right.
What I think is,  the teaching is related to that at Matthew 15.5  which is about people's hardness of heart

But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, 'Sorry, I can't help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.'

A divorced woman might not have any means of supporting herself - save for prostitution. 
A…

A Candle Mass Pilgrimage

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When she died in 1507, Agnes Parker owed a pilgrimage to St. Tebbald (St.Theobald) at Hobbies. In same year Thomas Wood of Coltishale left a legacies to the Guild of the Virgin at the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary at Hautbois and to paint the new tabernacle of St. Theobald in the Church. Thomas and Agnes were going to be my Simeon and Anna.


Riding through Coltishall and past the Guides, Patterson Lodge Activity Centre,  I chained my bike to the fence and walked down the track to the ruined church.  To the right is the Golden Gates Pond where generation of village kids have grappled - without success - for the said, golden gates. I often wonder if the gates in question were from the tabernacle of St.Theobald and deposited there after the shrines were suppressed by Henry VIII in 1538.


Candlemas Bells - Snowdrops - are sprinkled around the churchyard.
Woodpeckers drum, Buzzards call overhead and  Anna's warning echoes in my ears -"a sword shall piece  your soul&quo…