Norway Connecting

It was meant to be a holiday. I would tick off Selje and Nideros from my Bucket List. It became a pilgrimage, an apostolic tour, a deepening of followers of The Way.

Mecky and Kristin met me at Bergen airport. We zigzagged round mountains and ferried across fjords for seven hours until we arrived at Selje. Selje consists of an inhabited peninsular and a deserted Holy Island, where, according to legend, Saint Sunniva lived in a cave. Sunniva was the daughter of a Scottish king who lived under a Norse ruler. Sunniva rejected the advances of a Viking,. Enraged, he attacked her fathers kingdom. She and other women fled by boat. They landed, in winter, at a deserted Selje and survived on fish. In summer, farmers arrived and informed their Earl Hakon there were women on the island. He arrived with armed men. The women fled into a large cave where they prayed. Rocks fell on them and they died there. Many years later, in the time of Olaf Trigvarsson, a farmer found a human skull surrounded by a strange light. It emitted a sweet perfume. He took it to their chief who took it to their Bishop Sigurd. They recognised this as a sign of sanctity. They investigated the cave and found it full of relics. They built a shrine and many miracles took place there. This confirmed people in the belief that they had a saint in their midst.

We went by boat, climbed into the cave - 'the womb of the church in Noway' - sang and prayed for fruit from this womb. That night I spoke to a gathering in the house of Kari, the priest. Next day we met people who had visited Holy Island years before to explore how to create a Selje pilgrim way. Now, at last, it has opened.

Next day I spoke at Holmely Retreat House. Then more driving and ferries to Volda. Solve and Elene Hatlen and family royally fed us. We larned from them about the Coptic fathers. Why should not our dispersed community nurture such fathers and mothers?

Another ferry to Alesund where I spoke about soul-friendship at Sula Free Church where Jan Lokkeborg is pastor. Friends and followers of the Way talked and prayed together there.We departed at nearly 10.0 pm and drove for an hour to Molde. After a few hours sleep we departed for the long drive to Trondheim, the church capital of Norway. There the acting bishop Ragnhild Jepson greeted us and we toured and prayed in the cathedral and met afterwards for waffle and coffee surrounded by St. Olave's Week Festival. 'May different strands of Christian spirituality radiate from here like the colours of the rainbow' we prayed. This cathedral mirrors power and glory. We spoke about the gentle Celtic spirituality which brought conversion to Vikings in Britain long before Christian evangelism by the sword became a norm once again.

We stayed at the Pilgrim Centre and next day drove to our final event at Romedal. There we were due to meet Voyager Guri Enger and I speak about God-awareness and the Celtic Way of Seeing. Then there will be a long drive to Oslo and a flight home. Many thanks to Mecky and Kristin - brilliant logistical planners!

Posted at 07:31am on 4th August 2017
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