I’ve been thinking about journeys a lot over the last few weeks. Some of the reasons are because we’re coming up to the anniversary of losing my dad, and when I gave the talk at his funeral I spoke about journeys; in the current situation I often wonder if I should go for different journeys to the walks I often do; there are journeys I know I can’t go on at the moment – I would love to be in Birmingham at the moment; it’s part of our official vision at school – being a pilgrim; I’m wondering what my journey generally in life is going to be following this.
Today the husband and I went on a journey, although I guess you might call it more of a pilgrimage. We walked around Canterbury but our route was specific, stopping at each of the Church of England Parishes in the Centre – according to the Fitbit 9.3km.
We started off at the Church closest to us (makes sense) but this also happened to be the Church that we met at, where we got married, and that has been a HUGE part of our life. It felt so special and appropriate to start our journey today at the same place that we started our journey together and that has played a fundamental part.
Part of the reason I say we went on a pilgrimage as opposed to a journey is because we had a specific route and faith element. As we were walking around between the Churches we spoke about memories inevitably, but also spoke about what we felt God was challenging us about at the moment and what journey we were on
As I said at each Church we spent some time in prayer. One of us would read a prayer and then one of us would say a prayer for that parish, the leadership, the congregation and the community. We took a book of Celtic prayers with us, we started with the intention of reading a different prayer at each Church but then after the first one that the husband read we read the same one at each church. It was one that we felt was the centre of our faith, brought the churches together but also was appropriate for us to be saying as part of our journey
The prayer we read was: The cross and resurrection
Lord of endless inspiration, who keeps the seasons turning and creation renewed, plant in me a renewal of life, as I leave my past behind, and look forward to what is to come.
Give me the boldness to step out into the future, knowing that you hold all things in your hand as I walk the path you lay before me.
May I stand in your righteousness, and move forward wrapped in the knowledge of a clean heart and a clear conscience. Amen
The Church above is the Church we are a part of now, and has played a large part in our journey. We found it quite amusing that it was the easiest Church to get a whole photo of! Our moving to this church over 5 years ago was one of the biggest decisions we have had to make and took a long time, a lot of talking and a lot of prayer – we know now that it was possibly one of the best decisions we have made, but also a way to learn that you can never really know and you have to take steps of faith – really not my strong point!
As we walked and we spoke and we shared, we realised that both of us are being challenged on similar things in our faith journey at the moment and that actually we would be able to develop, help and encourage each other. Many pilgrimages are associated with following certain routines and doing the same thing. Maybe this walk of Canterbury or even just a sense of pilgrimage is something WE need to do more frequently. Taking the time to listen to each other but also listen to God.
As we were walking round the city we were also trying to spot the Cathedral. Obviously in Canterbury the Cathedral is rather a famous part of the City. On the route we took today we didn’t get many views. Some people may have been disappointed by that, but I think sometimes we need to focus on what’s ahead of us and we may get little glimmers of something more spectacular
We’re all on journeys, some are physical, some spiritual, some straightforward, some difficult. My advice… take what you can from whatever journeys you’re on at the moment and don’t worry if you get lost – you’re not on your own!