Friday, 30 March 2012

What a beautiful place Cumbria is in the spring and how good to spend a few days there seeing the varied and vibrant life of the District – 250 at a Study Day (on a Saturday!!) brass band at Ulverston, rebuild in Kendal, Food Bank at Cockermouth, LWPT Home at Grange over Sands and especially Shackles Off in Seascale (try to read the story of Shackles Off if you can) will live long in the memory as will a meal with Ecumenical Partners hosted by the Bishop of Carlisle where the way of working and relating seemed exceptional. This is an area that has seen more than its fair share of troubles – floods and shootings included - and the isolation and deprivation in parts of West Cumbria is palpable but it was really great to hear and see how the churches have been a healing presence in so many places. A few days sunbathing in Costa Del Beds, Essex and Herts followed and I was very glad to be there too! Another visit to an MHA Home in Bedford built by a couple for the benefit of so many, out of personal grief, seemed a fitting way to spend Passion Sunday afternoon and worship in our large church at Harpenden and much smaller one in Langford were equally inspiring. Good to spend quality time with Supers too at High Leigh and hear some good news stories from around this varied District. We don’t tell them enough!

In Brazil for the next two weeks (someone has to!) so I will leave you with a picture of a crucifix from a recent visit to Southwark Cathedral. It’s made out of coat hangers to create the effect both of intense pain and intense power. Something to ponder for Holy Week.

Blessings for Easter. Pray for me as I preach at several places along the Amazon on Easter Day!

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