Pilgrimpace's Blog

April 20, 2018, 11:27 am
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estate churches



easter garden
March 27, 2016, 2:37 pm
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The Easter Garden at St Bede’s


the Tomb


giant rock : tiny angel


the Cross blooms: death, life, resurrection, hope

March 27, 2016, 9:02 am
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A poem for Easter.  More reflections from me soon.  In the meantime, enjoy yourself
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.


What is all this juice and all this joy?
   A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
   Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
   Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

food for easter day

Not Easter Eggs, although there may be chocolate later, but:


The Light of Christ!  Paschal Candle, St Bede, Brandwood, Bev Cuming

Easter 1984 by Les Murray.  Read this wonderful poem here.

Hail Smiling Morn – watch and listen to this here.  Pure Easter

Alleluia Christ is Risen!


It can be tempting to think that the Lenten Journey has finished with the arrival of Easter.  Certainly there is a different tone as we meet the Risen Christ.  Yet, as George rightly points out in his comment on my previous post, suffering and injustice fall disproportionately on much of the world.  Here, on this freezing Easter Monday, we enter a time of shame on welfare where many of those with least (a good number of whom are in work) are hit by welfare cuts.

I am reminded this year very strongly that Easter commits us to a way of life, a way of Easter living.  We see some of this in the story we have been living through these past days.  On Thursday night I and many other priests and deacons washed our people’s feet following the pattern of love and service shown to us at the Last Supper.  We saw this very  beautifully in the action of Pope Francis washing the feet of young offenders.  The challenge and grace now is to go on living the same.  If Easter is to mean anything it must be to free us for a new way of living, a way that brings love and forgiveness into the world.  How can we do this practically?

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio washes feet of shelter residents during 2008 Mass at church in Buenos Aires

There is something of vital importance here too about small, vulnerable and broken things.  Love does not have to be (is not?) big and powerful.  When the disciples met the Risen Christ they recognised him by his wounds.


On Friday I had the privilege of being present at the Learning Disabilities Chaplaincy Easter Service at Monyhull.  One of the women there sang from her seat:

I will praise the Lord
I will praise the Lord
I will praise the Lord
With my whole life
With my whole life
I will praise the Lord
Let all God’s people
Praise the Lord
This was utterly beautiful, pure gift.  The Easter journey continues.  Let’s live some loving and practical compassion.

holy saturday

Ikon of the Harrowing of Hell

I want you back


Why are you hiding?

What made you run?

I see you,

you who are crouched in that squalid corner,

exhausted, scared, covered in dirt,

bewildered and confused at exactly how you got there.

All misery and shame are yours.

You think there’s no way back

but I am the way –

I’m the one who makes the ways!

And I will make a way back just for you.

I will work night and day to clear the paths

and not stop ‘til it is finished,

then I will come and crouch next to you in your corner,

point to the path I have made,

lift you in my strong arms

and carry you, drained and filthy as you are,

carry you all the way back home.

JK Rowbory

click here to find out more about Jenny Rowbory’s remarkable story

easter day – our journey ends … and starts afresh
April 8, 2012, 1:11 pm
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i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

– ee cummings

May 2, 2011, 2:44 pm
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This wonderful quote from Rowan Williams’ book Resurrection came in an Easter card from my friends the Sisters of the Community of St John the Divine:

We are called to live the power of the resurrection, to ‘actualize’ the risen Christ in his power to forgive, restore and transform human lives and situations.  To live in the fullness of Christ means that we are part of the energy that makes ‘all things new’; part of the energy that pours itself out in compassion on a wounded and unforgiving world; that refuses to be a part of the negative and destructive forces that surround us day by day.  It means, rather, that we make conscious decisions to ‘live and move and have our being’ in the renewing, life-giving and peace-making power of God manifest in Christ in the events of Easter.

love is come again
April 24, 2011, 6:49 am
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Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love Whom we had slain,
Thinking that He’d never wake to life again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Up He sprang at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Up from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

When our hearts are saddened, grieving or in pain,
By Your touch You call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

John MC Crum

hidden is love’s agony
April 21, 2011, 4:05 pm
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by William H. Vanstone

Morning glory, starlit sky,
Leaves in springtime, swallows’ flight,
Autumn gales, tremendous seas,
Sounds and scents of summer night;

Soaring music, tow’ring words,
Art’s perfection, scholar’s truth,
Joy supreme of human love,
Memory’s treasure, grace of youth;

Open, Lord, are these, Thy gifts,
Gifts of love to mind and sense;
Hidden is love’s agony,
Love’s endeavour, love’s expense.

Love that gives gives ever more,
Gives with zeal, with eager hands,
Spares not, keeps not, all outpours,
Ventures all, its all expends.

Drained is love in making full;
Bound in setting others free;
Poor in making many rich;
Weak in giving power to be.

Therefore He Who Thee reveals
Hangs, O Father, on that Tree
Helpless; and the nails and thorns
Tell of what Thy love must be.

Thou are God; no monarch Thou
Thron’d in easy state to reign;
Thou art God, Whose arms of love
Aching, spent, the world sustain.