Today, we were invited to lunch with an Anglican Quaker on the Holy Island and the Friends in the area for a meeting. It was good to be part of a Friends gathering after a long time, the silence, the simplicity, the space and the spoken thoughts are a source of contemplation and encouragement. Open contemplation on the subject of Pacifism, Peace, war and the necessary evil is a good spiritual practice. My two companions and I joined in. After initial introduction followed by silence, people moved by the spirit, spoke. The depth and the diversity of thought being shared in complete openness was a positive experience. I walked around the island and arrived at St Mary the Virgin Anglican Church at 5pm and joined in the Evening Prayer with three others. The service was beautifully led by Revd Samantha Quilty, the Curate.
It is good to see joy and enthusiasm for the Lord in the Revd Quilty. The Church looked loved.
Today is the first day in England and it felt right to enter England and continue the Walk at the Holy Island. I walked over to our Caravan site which was about 5 miles away from the Island. Walking through the Causeway felt like walking with Jesus on the water. It was not about dodging the forces of nature but experience the power of trust in God which made Cuthbert and Aiden to leave behind all that mattered to them and became an immense source of blessing to generations after them.
We have pitched our tent between the London North Eastern Railway and the coastline of the North Sea. The peace and tranquillity of the place made me sing, ‘How great thou art.’
If I may briefly return to the stories last night! James shed some light on why Kirk Yetholm. The Village Yetholm had only one church and James thought it was Methodist. And the story was, when the Roman Catholics were allowed public worship post Reformation, they wanted to build the Catholic Church in Village Yetholm. But, the ‘Methodists’ were not very keen on the idea. So the Catholics built a church which is now Kirk Yetholm. There is nothing new under the sun.
Today morning I went to pay for our Caravan Park in village Yetholm. Fiona at the garage in Yetholm had another story. Fiona’s grandma lived in the village and when the local Free Church went up for sale in 1964 wanted to buy it as a storage space. The Church came with its extensive land. She didn’t want the land but took is as part of the church sale. One day, someone asked to part their car and ask for permission. She allowed it freely. This happened more than once and people offered money to part. Fiona, recalls, the rest is history. Grandma turned it into a good money making business and now it is called, ‘Kirkfield Caravan Park.’
Two things came up through this conversation. Firstly, the church in Village Yetholm was not Methodist but Free Kirk. Secondly, why does the church not have the vision that Fiona’s Grandma had and continue its business of hospitality and allowed the work of God to thrive. It seems the Church needs to learn from the world and end its self-destructive beliefs and practices and start embracing the Lord of Life and enable life and all that is.