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Ray's Blog

Aidan And Hilda Week

 What a priceless group of disciples and mission leaders gathered at Holy Island's Open Gate Retreat House for Aidan and Hilda Week: five from USA, one each from Australia, Denmark, England,  Norway and Scotland. We learned about one of the world's greatest cross-cultural missions, and about the Cloud of Witnesses...

Posted at 16:20pm on 30th August 2019

The 'b' Word And The Wild Goose

What is the 'B' word? I vowed I would never mention Brexit in public. In UK and beyond it foments civil strife among friends and strangers alike - though now everyone is war weary.

Is  the 'B' word Britain, which might break up, even  though Scotland and its neighbours will still...

Posted at 09:10am on 21st August 2019

Celtic Summer School At Durham

Nine members of the Community of Aidan and Hilda were among the speakers at The Celtic Summer School held in Durham, attended by over a hundred people. 

 Ken McIntosh, from USA, first led an Open Gate retreat on ‘Fresh Water from an Ancient Well’.  His new book is entitled Reading the...

Posted at 16:49pm on 16th August 2019

Extended Family, Illness

Norway pastor Solve Hatlen brought eleven members of his extended family, including  his wife and both their parents, accompanied by Jan and Erna Lokkeborg, to the Open Gate. They had walked St. Cuthbert's Way, and members of Kirk Yetholm church had cooked them a meal on the Sunday night after...

Posted at 16:33pm on 9th August 2019

Scam, Peacocks And Valleys

I am the victim of an email scam. Many of you have received emails purporting to be from me and asking for your help. Please do two things: 1) Look carefully and you will see that the email is not in fact identical with mine. 2) Put it into scam...

Posted at 16:48pm on 2nd August 2019

God's Kiss And Mars Bars

Three of us went by car to Ian Davidson's funeral at Edinburgh's Morningside Church. A crowded church and robed choir saw Ian off.  Six community members came from Yorkshire, Northumberland and Scotland. Some knew him when he was warden of Scargill House, others when he was chaplain of Edinburgh Fellowship...

Posted at 06:13am on 27th July 2019

White House Working Holiday

My sister Sally and I are having a working holiday at White House, Holy Island.

I have hacked and weeded three years' growth to create a mountain of weeds.

Each day we attend four services.  Each day I have met up with an old friend who is staying on the island.

The Community...

Posted at 13:44pm on 19th July 2019

Pilgrims From Thames To Forth Bridge

What a joy to celebrate Sally Steen's seventieth birthday with her family and friends from her Burmese charity work and The Community of Aidan and Hilda.  We embarked at Westminster Pier on an Edwardian cruiser, saw London's sights accompanied by musicians and a delicious lunch.  One guest got me a...

Posted at 06:04am on 12th July 2019

Norwegian Vows On St. Cuthbert's Island

Frode Felbraten led a group of clergy and church members from the Lillesand Deanery in Norway to walk St. Cuthbert's Way and learn at The Open Gate more about the role of the Medvandrer (soul friend).  We accompanied Else to St. Cuthbert's Isle where I received her vows as a...

Posted at 08:17am on 5th July 2019

Do Not Cause Others To Stumble By Our Use Of Social Media


Luke's Gospel tells us (9:51-62) that many people wanted to follow Jesus and his call to live for God's kingdom, but because they had never examined their own unspoken priorities these hi-jacked them from remaining followers of The Way.

I am deeply saddened when someone in our world-wide community, who, before...

Posted at 16:24pm on 28th June 2019
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