Category: Reflections

Give me my scallop-shell of quiet

Give me my scallop-shell of quiet

My staff of faith to walk upon,

My script of joy, immortal diet,

My bottle of Salvation,

My gown of glory, hope’s true gage,

And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.

(Sir Walter Raleigh [1552~1618]}

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

I read the words on a favourite paperweight and reflect on the thousands of feet which have set out on the pilgrimage of faith in the 800 plus years that a church has stood on top of Rowley’s hill, The year Walter Raleigh was born the first church building was already more than 300 years old, that church numbered amongst its worshippers, Isabella, cousin to Henry VIII, so amongst those thousands of feet, at least one pair of noble feet, but mostly those pilgrim feet were humble feet, farmers, cottagers, then miners, quarry workers, nailers and chain makers; fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters; not many wealthy or wise; but all determined to be a pilgrim for Christ.

The Prayer Desk waits quietly for the next Priest in St Giles long history to take up the list of names and pray for today’s pilgrims and those who will come put on gospel shoes and take the one step that begins a journey of a thousand miles.

But before that one, first step, a prayer,

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me, may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me: for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24)

No one has ever taken, so I believe that one first step on the upward journey to where Jesus waits, without His prayer, He stands, always at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us.

It is the desire of the Lord Jesus that where He is, We should be where He is ~

I say Amen and pray for all the pilgrims on the road today, and the ones who will believe because of their word, the up shoe laces before taking one step,

~~~~~ then another.

one step, then another.

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The Difference is Prayer

I got up early one morning

And rushed right into the day;

I had so much to accomplish

That I didn’t have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me,

And heavier came each task.

“Why doesn’t God help me?

I wondered.

He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

I wanted to see joy and beauty,

But the day toiled on grey and bleak.

I wondered why God didn’t show me,

He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

I tried to come into God’s presence,

I used all my keys at the lock.

God gently and lovingly chided,

“My child, you didn’t knock”

I woke up early this morning,

And paused before entering the day:

I had so much to accomplish

That I had to take time to pray.

(author unknown)

If our Lord Jesus needed to pray, so do I.

I read in Mark 1.v35

“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”

If our Lord showed His Father reverence and honour in the way He prayed and spoke His Holy Name, calling His Lord, “Father” ~ so should I.

Our Master taught us to Ask, Seek and Knock. Lady Julian of Norwich referred to the Lord as our Courteous Lord. So He is. And deserving of our Courtesy.

To pray makes a difference, how we pray is how we are received.

The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are His!

Keep Looking Up

A lovely bright morning, the bare trees are showing spring green. Whatever litters the path beneath my feet, I can look up and touch the sky.

When my days are grey and drizzle. Remind me, Lord to look up, I know You “Keep my feet” ~

You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures for ever more”

Jesus said, that His followers would know trouble in this world; but in Himself peace,

Lord, when I am troubled, remind me to “Look up!”

Between Times

I love the sea, but live far from it. I dream of going down to the sea and sailing again. In the days of wind and sail, I think I would have been happy. I am one of those strange people who like wind and lively seas.

When taking on board our church magazine – I was told I could call it what I liked, so instead of St Giles Parish Magazine. I chose, Tides and Tidings.

Tides, because big ships sail with the tide, there is no ship bigger than ‘The Church’ ..church has often been viewed as the ‘Ark’ that’s why our wooden vaulted ceiling looks like an upside down boat. Not that St Giles is upside down, but the church is called to turn the world upside down for Jesus. We are still in Eastertide, from now until Ascension Day, (10th May) still thinking of Jesus showing himself to His friends, women as well as men, before finally saying ‘Goodbye’ and ascending to His Father and Our Father, and then (Acts 1: 4) ‘Wait for the Promise of the Father’

And then when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, the Father sent the Holy Spirit, a great wind to turn the tide in the church’s favour, filling waiting disciples with boldness to begin to reach to all corners of the earth with Tidings of salvation in Jesus’ Name.

I was reminded, in recent days, of these words, from ‘Pilgrim’ (Dom Helder Camara)

When your ship,

Being moored in harbour, gives the illusion

Of being a house;

When your ship

Begins to put down roots

In the stagnant water by the quay; put out to sea!

Save your boat’s journeying soul and your own pilgrim soul,

Cost what it may”

St Giles is in between times in more ways than one, Reverend Ian Shelton retired in January, leaving us to await the appointment of a new Incumbent, or to use ship’s talk Captain. We are in interregnum but we know we have to be ready to sail on the tide, on our new Captain’s orders … so we are still busy, welcoming passengers on board, Baptisms, Marriages, Funerals, and all our normal Services are happening on time, church is cleaned, decks swabbed, churchyard maintained, hall open for kick boxers, Theatrkidz and much more … so I guess we won’t be putting down roots as we wait…. just getting seaworthy….

“For Lo, The Winter Is Past…

The winter has been long and cold. Snow, ice, wind and rain: visits to the churchyard have meant bundling up in layers, wrapping yourself around in scarf, hat over ears, two pairs of gloves, and socks but now… well here come the daffodils welcoming us to Evening Prayer.


“The flowers appear on the earth: the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” (Song of Solomon 2:12)

“In the darkness, in the quiet, we had come to anoint Him. Heavy hearted, drenched in sorrow, how could we live without Him.

Suddenly we saw there an angel all in white.

Then we knew that He had risen.”

So sang, St Giles Singers. Out in the churchyard the Daffodils join in the chorus:

“We have seen the risen Lord, we have heard His gentle voice saying “Be not afraid” We have felt His conquering power, known the glory of this hour.

“We have seen the Risen Lord. We have seen the Risen Lord”

Snowdrops and the wilderness

In my part of the world, “Lent Lily” is the title of the sunny Daffodil,  but the small, humble and neat Snowdrop is the flower that most springs to my mind at this season.


Daffodils will be around at Easter, the Snowdrops are here now pushing their way up through the leaf litter to emerge triumphant as the harbingers of Spring.

Lent for us always begins in the cold, today, snow flakes have danced on the cold wind, so very different to the images of desert and wilderness portrayed by artists in their depiction of the temptations endured by Jesus in the wilderness. Our winter turning into spring is a wilderness of ice, frost, and in the churchyard, brittle, brown, grey, twigs and branches broken by wind and storm, and tenacious Snowdrops and Crocus.

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus.

(Isaiah 35:1)

For, me, always, the sweet, humble Snowdrop, always arrives singing,

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,

My glory and the one who lifts my head.

(psalm 3:3)


She has fought a hard battle, the little Snowdrop, but here she is…  singing the song of victory won; giving the glory to the Lord who keeps us in burning desert and icy waste, the One, who alone is His people’s strength.

Born In The Night

A dark night, a cold night, a night to close the curtains shut the door, settle by the fireside and be thankful:

Thankful for a home, a shelter from the wet and cold, for protection from the perils and dangers of the night. For, outside in the world, which knows not, believes not, darkness holds sway.

The street is hushed, traffic movement stilled: words remembered sing themselves, silently in my spirit’s ear.

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light

the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee to-Night.”

I shut my eyes, try, but cannot imagine what it would be like to be alone in the darkest, blackest of nights with no light at all. How would it feel to be alone in the darkest,  blackest, coldest of nights with no warm presence of  Christ wrapping me about with love.

While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.”

I think, of all who sleep, the weary, the worn, the sad. 

Of all who close eyes, and ears tight to shut out the pained cries of a world waiting for deliverance like a woman in childbirth,

How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given”

I give thanks, and am lost in wonderment, I praise God that like a child born in the night, I am safely delivered, and snuggle my head in my Saviour’s breast;

You see I once sang, so long ago,

“Oh holy Child of Bethlehem, cast out my sin, and enter in: be born in me to-day,”

And He did, and was, and this I know to be true, that he gives to me and all who believe and receive   Him the right to become “children of God.”

And so it was, that a man named Nicodemus came to Jesus by night (John 3.1) 

And so it is that like Jesus all of the Children of Day are born in the night, and so it is that all His Children carry within them the Light of Christ.

Posted in love for all listening for the song of the Morning Stars….