Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: cistercian way, our lady of tintern, pilgrimage, praying, the cistercian way, tintern, tintern abbey, walking
Another day of good solitary walking, south along the Wye Valley, next to the river or climbing high to beautiful views through short torrential showers. Deep envy of a group of fishermen barbequing their dinner at a hut on the banks.
Again, a very wonderful thing. I had been invited to stop at Tintern by The Friends of Our Lady of Tintern Abbey (http://www.ourladyoftintern.co.uk/) to give a talk on the pilgrimage. This meant a rest day at Tintern, once again with wonderful hospitality. Tintern of course is probably the marque Cistercian Abbey in Wales, and one of the key ruins and sites of romanticism. A very special place to be invited to spend time.
In the morning we walked into Tintern. It was the Harvest Moon and the tide and rain meant the river was nearly flooding. We watched from the door of St Michael’s Church as the tide turned and the level dropped dramatically. There was a good turn out for the talk for a Tuesday in October (Parts One and Two of this article are an expanded version of the talk). When it had finished, we walked to the Abbey ruins and the new statue of Our Lady of Tintern – the original one was a focus of pilgrimage) and I was blessed and presented with a Pilgrim Badge. This was moving; one of the highlights of the pilgrimage.
It was a privilege to be able to spend time with some of the people here. Learning about the excavations at Trellech, and what they might be revealing about medieval pilgrim routes to Santiago. Deep conversations about the interwoven natures of prayer and walking. After a good dinner, Maddy and I walked a few miles, up to the Chapel at Penterry and then back down Chapel Hill, stopping to take in the ruins of St Mary’s Church.
It is very good to walk with someone else as well as alone. Walking with Maddy helped me to see and understand the landscape I was walking through more deeply, to understand the history and the development. I love walking with people who know more about things than I do, it is so enriching.
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