Hi folks! Hope you’re okay? see you 8pm at the crescent club this sunday!
I know most years you’ll hear someone say something along the lines of “it doesn’t feel like Christmas this year” and I really understand that this year, I’ve had one of those weeks where I don’t want Christmas to come around (mainly when bob Geldof starts spouting about how it isn’t going snow in Africa this year). And then I have periods where it feels okay for Christmas to happen and to come around, I’ve been focussing on the family more this year, I’ve finished work for Christmas, I’ve got time to prepare and to mentally prepare for the Christmas period coming to a head.
Every so often I come across something that stops me dead in my tracks and gives me Goosebumps, and the video below of a woman singing in a church, I have no idea where, but it is so beautifully haunting and peaceful in my head, the echo was the first thing I noticed that made me take notice the first time, it gives me peace inside and helps me to cope with the stress that Christmas has bought to me this year, there’s moments in every person’s life, and faith journey that define them and define moments in a life, and that video is one of those moments in my life, just to sit back and breathe and take a moment.
Last Sunday afternoon the folks from BeachcomberFX went for one of our regular walks, this time we started at Plessey Woods to Stangington and then back to the car park, it was about 6 miles in total and we were out for about four hours including time to stop for a beer in a local hostelry.
Seventeen adults, six kids and six dogs… negotiated the woods, with the river at our side and the autumn leaves on the trees and underfoot, it was beautiful… we were accompanied by the noise of kids playing and dogs… mainly Molly barking! We saw a heron and kestrel as we walked. The most dangerous part was trying to cross the A1!! Not a feat I would recommend, all managed to get across but it was rather scary, so much so that we came home a different way to avoid it!
We had a nice cold beer at Stangington which refreshed us for the walk back. Many and varied conversations were had as we enjoyed the countryside and took in the sights and sounds.
We continue to walk and wander on a fairly regular basis. On our weekend away in February, Pete challenged us to think and look for alters in the world… these are places that can help us discover God in the everyday environs we find ourselves. There are many that we can discover in nature, a broken tree, a tree stump, plants or flowers, the sky, hills and fields… even in the faces whom we walk with
and the strangers that we encounter. I have also discovered these on urban walks, architecture, graffiti, sounds from buildings and parks… Alters in the world can be discovered anywhere if we choose to try and discover them, why not try and find one the next time you are out and about.
I have just returned after another great walk around Earsdon wandering along the wagonways, we were searching for the sunset… and after we had finished and had a refreshment break we were rewarded with one… There is something incredible about walking just out of
the urban sprawl, the faint noise of cars, but here we were amongst the wheat and greenery as well as horses grooming each other.
As we walk, we talk with each other sharing our day and the joys and sorrows of life, moving around each other being community. A few weeks ago we wandered on another walk, but there was a few more with us on that occasion, including children running around and dogs going in and out of the stream. What has struck me as we have walked, is that each one provides us with some
new experience, and I am learning to capture the moment and to thank God for them.
This last week on the longest day of the year we wandered around the Cobalt Business Park for our Wayfarer walk of about 3 miles. The reason we choose this venue is that on the top of the hill there is a large sun dial and you can view much of our locality and it gives a great view to watch the sun go down.
The Cobalt Business Park provided a few surprises, in the
midst of the office blocks and new industry as to how peaceful and tranquil it is, there is also a memorial to those who perished in the concentration camps under the hands of the Nazis, a stark reminder of our history and the uncertainty of our present times.
We saw Canada Geese and their young as well as a few ducks, nature found its home in the midst of work and
business. The walk took us around the whole site on the old railway lines and new found pathways. Some of us picked up litter as we went and we paused at the end to think about the longest day and ponder on the light and darkness that provides us with the rhythms of life and then we prayed for our community. And so we witnessed the sun go down below the clouds to lead us towards the start of summer giving way to autumn… although I’m in denial about that as I love the summer!
I found this great post about #XmasAngels! Fantastic!!!
Last week certainly took us by surprise. Back in September I received an email offering a plan for Christmas, the crazy idea of placing hundreds of knitted angels in Romiley as free gifts to our c…
Source: Knitted angels
I have been dreaming about this for a number of years, I was inspired by the fresh expressions team in Scarborough when they lit lanterns on the beach as an act of remembrance for loved ones. It has taken the beachcomberFX team a while but we eventually committed to making it happen this year. We didn’t want to just use the same idea, we decided to link it with remembrance weekend, the next thought was what to do?
We decided to try and design a poppy on the beach but it would be dark so there was no chance of drawing it into the sand… so after a few ideas we thought about using battery powered fairy lights.
The weather was kind and it was fairly mild for a November evening and so as folks gathered at Riley’s Fish Shack on King Edwards Bay for a relaxed evening we began to arrange our fairy lights and lanterns… we had thirty lanterns, and over the next couple of hours each one would be used, towards the end of our time there the sky cleared and the moon gave us extra light. I had the opportunity to chat to a few folk who saw what we were doing from the top and had walked down to ask. Some came from the Riley’s to take time out to remember a loved one or to think about those who perished in wars.
I spoke to a few people about who we were and what we were doing down on the beach. It was met with kindness and generosity. We spoke to locals and visitors of all ages and gave out free chocolates. We posted photos on social media through Sunday@thepub’s twitter account and our own and through instagram and facebook. Others took photos as well and shared them on social media. This was the first of what we hope will be a few ideas that we can do as a result of this. Next year we would like to do it for longer and make the poppy larger with double the amount of lanterns! Watch this space!
Racism is a social issue which we ALL need to address. This is a small preliminary collection of online resources gathered by Dr Alison Phipps, myself and others which offers various kinds of advic…