It’s synod pilgrimage time again, and true to past form Henry is up the front, leading the way. Little has changed: he’s organised a first day walk that ends up with a long slog through an unkempt meadow, whose distant boundary seems no nearer. We want to be shouting out from the back, “Are we nearly there yet?” And then suddenly there’s footbridge across the river, and in midstream is a flock of sheep being drive a cross by a quad-biking shepherd complete with dog and two pups, and we know that we are connecting with civilization again even before we see the pick-up coach nudging down the line.
|At the first bridge|
|A surprise dimension|
We finish the day – well, we finish the afternoon – at the Church of St Mary the Virgin at Holystone. The world church dimension is there again as Dave leads us in singing Dr Kao’s hymn “O Lord, you are the life of the world”; and the Spirit is invoked as we pass the bowl of (? holy) water around and make the sign of the dove on one another’s foreheads. Yes, there’s a sense that God has been with us through the start of our pilgrimage – and there are hopes of good things to come later today, as we make transport arrangements to get us this evening to Thropton, and the evening meal that’s already been ordered at the Three Wheat Heads.