The Long View

Virtually walking from the Iron Age hill fort, Barbury Castle to the Bronze Age circle at Avebury via Google Maps and Zoom with my friend Richard earlier today, we happened across the topic of the long-view. He told me how, on the Coast to Coast Path, at the end of the first day of walking … Continue reading The Long View

Swift to Glastonbury

In preparation for the publication on April 9th of my book, We Are Pilgrims, last week I joined a group of around 15 folks on a pilgrimage from Glastonbury to Wells Cathedral. We began early in the day with a visit to two water sources that emanate from beneath Glastonbury Tor - the White Spring … Continue reading Swift to Glastonbury

City Centre Sanctuary

The atmosphere of many grand or old buildings can be cold and austere, but Wakefield Cathedral, which is both old and grand, embraces the visitor as soon as they step through the door. A labyrinth set into the recently re-laid stone floor is an invitation to enter a different frame of mind: the act of … Continue reading City Centre Sanctuary

Gone for a Burton

During the research for my forthcoming book We are Pilgrims one of the most intense weeks was spent amongst the letters, lectures and published works of the explorer, linguist, ethnographer and spy, Sir Richard Francis Burton. Of particular interest was what led him to travel to Mecca disguised as a pilgrim.  His covert participation in the Hajj convoy … Continue reading Gone for a Burton

Feast and Famine

It shows enormous political confidence to build a cathedral; a declaration of the strength of the church, now and for tomorrow. ( We are richly blessed with over 40 English Cathedrals) And even during the decades of building and carving and embellishing, the construction of a cathedral serves an immediate social and economic purpose, raising … Continue reading Feast and Famine

The Power of Song

This week I spent a day walking and talking with Will Parsons, co-founder of the British Pilgrimage Trust and intrepid explorer into that rich spiritual world which lies beyond the surface of any pilgrim path. It was a transcendent experience. Our day’s journey began in the misty morning amongst the yew trees of St Mary’s churchyard, Patrixbourne … Continue reading The Power of Song

Through a Glass Darkly

Stained glass in cathedrals and churches can bring a special light and aliveness into the cool quiet interiors of churches and cathedrals, as well as signalling that the people of the ‘parish’ were, at the time these artworks were commissioned, wealthy enough to pay for their design and installation. Cologne (or Koln) Cathedral is one … Continue reading Through a Glass Darkly