The dinner tonight in the natural light of darkness we had smoked kipper from .. and some lovely vegetable soup from the Co-op. Parking the caravan tonight proved to be a challenge. Nigel had pitched it on the roadside as there was no room at the Friary at Alnmouth. Nigel and I drove around and found this quiet place with a four other mobile homes near … village. We removed the caravan to this secure place and warmed the kipper and soup and enjoyed it outdoors. Mark had eaten already.
Today, I walked from Bamburgh Castle to Alnmouth as I had sent an email to the Friary that we were coming and were hoping to stay there. However, on arriving the monk who opened the door asked us to stay outside and went in to check if there was an email. The booking form confirmed that I completed the process and that I will hear from them immediately. There was no answer and we accepted that all is well. The monk returned after five minutes and said that there was some mix up, the Friary is full and there was no place for us.
On the night before I read in detail the repeated claim by the Franciscans for their reputation for hospitality. This is the first instance in the three weeks of walking from Aberdeen to Alnmouth that we encountered a firm refusal and it has made me reflect on how much Christian religion has changed from ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me’ to ‘there is no room in the inn. I said, ‘Peace be with you’ to that monk in shorts and tea shirt and he looked bemused.
In contrast, I came across two saints and seven adventurers walking from Croster to Low Newton and back. The two saints were the two retired gentleman from Newcastle, Paul and John who brought seven adventurers who have been given asylum and refuge in England by the government of Her Majesty, the Queen.
The contrast between lay people in the church and the religious is of something significant. The openness to God and the tenderness of humanity shaped by faith in God in Christ Jesus in the soul of a believer appears far precious than the hardness of heart of the religious. This is exposed by the Lord throughout his life. While the punters were more ready to trust and experience God, the religious pursued the Lord until they were able to put him to death.