Hild Fests And Bright New Trails

Throughout the world those who voyage by the light of the Aidan and Hilda Way of Life have renewed their vows, singly or gathered in groups, at this St. Hilda’s-tide. They have departed with the prayer: “The mantle of Aidan be upon us, the mantle of Hilda too. The mantle of Christ from our crown to our feet”.

In my neck of the world Graham and Ruth joined Voyagers from Hartlepool (the area of Hilda’s second community) on Sunday, who invited members of their church to a special afternoon service to witness their vows. On Monday they drove to Edinburgh where our Community Soul Friends, Dorothy and Peter Neilson, joined Aidan and Hilda Scotland members in renewing their vows. This had special significance. Following the Scottish Referendum both Unionists and Nationalists are fired up to model a new way of being a country. Our calling is to enable the kingdom of God to come alive on the doorsteps and in the streets in a wave of God-sourced new motivation.

Lindisfarne Voyagers renewed their vows at Midday on Monday. Carol and I drove to St. Oswald’s Centre Whitby where I am leading a week’s retreat on a Spirituality for Now inspired by Hilda. Here Voyagers renewed their vows on Tuesday, followed by a celebration Eucharist and meal with the sisters. After this we played the St. Hilda’s Jewels board game designed by St. Hild’s School, Hartlepool, and told hilarious stories.

The new book on Hilda sold out at The Open Gate. Whitby retreatant Gwen is reading her copy for the third time and is excited by the vision of building villages of God. She and two friends found their way to what a local landowner at Aislaby says is 'Hilda's pool'. 'Sure she must have swam here' they say. A scholar who spent time at Whitby sends her theories as to why Hilda's sister went, not to Chelles monastery in France, as the historian Bede suggests, but to another. We learn that at last a developer has agreed to transform the Order of the Holy Paraclete's buildings at Sneaton Castle, Whitby into purpose built modern accommodation. They still look for 'alongsiders'.They said they would welcome any of our members who seek to explore the hermit life in a secluded place.

On Monday our Caim Council meets here. Whitby Explorers with a vision for developments that would make for a more whole Whitby hope to join them for an evening.

On the promenade Captain Cook looks out to continents the other side of the world. Ships went from Whitby to the world. Voyagers have not ceased. Spiritual voyagers increase. Hilda may have been English but she was humble enough to learn from foreigners like Aidan who allowed Christ to come in indigenous style. May we learn that same infectious humility wherever we are in the world.

Posted at 01:14am on 19th November 2014
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