Day 2 Banias to Beatitudes

Yesterday after we left the church of the multiplication we drove north to Banias Nature Reserve the site of Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus asked his disciples 'who do you say that I am?' We saw the spectacular Banias waterfall in full flow due to all the recent rain. But we were blessed by blue skies.... Continue Reading →

Our pilgrimage has begun

After a long but smooth journey, we arrived around 6.30pm in the Pilgerhaus, our hotel/retreat centre on the shores of Lake Galilee. Grateful but very tired after such a long journey, it was wonderful to be welcomed into beautiful rooms and to a delicious supper. Our first day was spent in Nazareth and in the... Continue Reading →

Visiting The Holy Land

  Tomorrow I'll be returning to the Holy Land. I last went two years ago on a tour for people who might lead a pilgrimage. So it's very exciting to be going back again, this time with 44 other people from Coventry Diocese, many of whom have never been before. I'm sure there are as... Continue Reading →

Hope

Okay so this blog post will go some way to make up for the previous one! This year for Advent in church I constructed an advent calendar with just four windows: one for each Sunday of Advent. The front of the calendar was plain black - deliberately so. I wanted it to look as unadorned and... Continue Reading →

Be afraid… be very afraid…

Okay so this might not sound too seasonally cheerful... but I've been thinking about the Christmas stories and how in so many encounters in these stories, the participants are told "do not be afraid". But there is one story in which the chief participant, Mary, might well have expected to hear those words and they... Continue Reading →

You know you’re in Ireland when…

You know you are in Ireland ... when there are more Protestant churches than eating places... or perhaps we just got hungry in a particularly fervent part of Belfast? When the first thing you see when you step out of terminal one in Dublin is a large church tower in the middle of the car... Continue Reading →

On being defensive and self reliant…

When you have defended yourself for a long time against discouragement, despair, disappointment and doubt you assume the defensive posture of someone who is only afraid of more of the above and certainly not hopeful of alternative experiences such as joy, peace,  fun and hope. When you’ve battled through so much you can actually get... Continue Reading →

Finding Jesus in the gloom and uncertainty

This wonderful Easter reflection (used with permission) is by my friend Wendy Bray, a priest and author who lives with terminal cancer.  She is also quoting Debie Thomas   For anyone who finds Easter hard because it seems to be all about sunshine and brightness and life -all-sorted, this might be helpful for you. Happy Easter. (... Continue Reading →

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