When World Shuts Down I Travel Ten Hours For An Uprising Of Cornish Saints

France asks  no one over seventy to travel.  Italy stops church meetings.  Yet on Monday, at the age of eighty, I fulfil a three year obligation to lead three days of retreat in Cornwall, near Land's End, on Saints, Sites and Signposts for our Future. This requires ten hours on a train, and no shop has hand gel left for sale!

I emailed my Cornwall hosts to ask that, if I die of corona virus there they will bring me back to be buried at home.  They replied 'We have a nice orchard here'.

It is the 1500th anniversary of the founding of St. Sennen's Church.  According to one tradition, Senan was called by God to start monastic churches in the mouths of rivers in Ireland.  His most famous foundation is at Scattery Island. Saint Aidan took oversight of this community after his death, and people on Scattery Island feel linked with Iona and Lindisfarne.  But Senan, like so many other wandering Irish missionaries, travelled to Cornwall and founded a community near Land's End as did so many others.

So from 10.0 am to 4.0 pm daily Tuesday - Thursday we shall explore  Senan and Aidan - setting hearts on fire (Tuesday), A Cloud of Witnessses urging us to run our race (Wednesday); Celtic Keys for a Healed Creation (Thursday). On Friday Michelle Brown, the L:indisfarne Gospels expert, will lead us on a pilgrimage to sacred sites nearby.

The host priest is Canon Vanda Perrett and you  can find details on Lands End Churches Facebook page.

In view of UK Prime Minister Johnson's warning that many families will  lose older loved ones before their time I have burned the midnight oil to get two manuscripts submitted to publishers.  (Already one manuscript, Celtic Christianity and the Climate Crisis) is due to be published this summer; and the editor of another publisher is reading my autobiograpny hopefully with a view to publishing it. Last night I sent a submission to a USA publisher re a book on Redeeming America (that is not its title); and I am finalising a little book on Scotland and England: Sacred Bonds - our saints from Tay to Humber.  This is a revised and amplified version of  talks I give during the Aidan and Hilda teaching week on ten  Northumbria saints.  

On top of that, my App-maker and marketeer Graeme and Laura have spent a day here. Whatever happens to me the App on the Way will be launched within weeks. As if all that is not enough, Faith Brennan, the project manager who will transform Whitehouse, my Holy Island property, into a top rank B&B which can fund ministry to a new generation  during off-seasons, has beauifully framed some wordingI composed  about White Houses and their place as hearths throughout Britain,  Ireland and France in the early Christian centuries,  My prayer is that this house will keep this tradition alive.

Yesterday Brother Gildas of Caldey Monastery rang.  He keeps this tradition alive in our time.

Today I said Midday Prayer on Holy Island and gave Jutta hanging bowl of garden flowers in gratitude for her amazing catering for my 80th birthday celebration at Open Gate last Sunday.  It was unforgettable and heart-warming.  Thank you also to so many of you who sent cards or greetings.

Please pray that Land's End shall be Heaven's beginning for those who come. All shall be well. All manner of things shall be well.







Posted at 18:03pm on 13th March 2020
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