St Augustine once said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.” It is one of my favourite quotes. It indicates that we are a people who are always on the move… searching… looking… journeying onto God. We are not to be confined to ‘the way it has always been’ but we are pilgrim people, living lightly to possessions and status, open to changes and the nudges of the Holy Spirit. And we follow in the footsteps of many greats: right at the beginning of the Bible Abram left his home and journeyed on in trust and faith – he did not know to where. Ruth and Naomi travelled to Moab in search of food… and received there many, many blessings. The wise men left all they knew in order to search for the promised king.
And the apostles left their homes and security to be pilgrims alongside Jesus. Wherever people have been faithful to God there seems to be movement, whether that be physical travel or towards deeper inner depths, or even both.
Have you ever gone on a pilgrimage? I remember being taken to Walsingham when I was young, walking from the Slipper Chapel to the village barefoot; and, when I was older, I journeyed twice to Taizé in France. In the interim years I have made smaller pilgrimages to holy sites in Britain, and tried to journey many, many times towards the God within. Whatever the place and circumstances I have always been surprised by what I have found. God is a God of surprises and if we intentionally take time to move towards God, then we discover that in response God takes two, if not more, steps towards us.
This year in Holy Trinity we will be concentrating on the theme of pilgrimage, both the physical and spiritual. We will join our efforts with those of the Province, and join in with some events organised by the wider church. We will also be organising some events as a community, which will be accessible to all – with the intention of opening ourselves to journeying with each other and within ourselves. All that is needed is a willingness to reflect and perhaps change, however subtly. I hope it is an exciting year for us all.
Please find within this month’s magazine more details of possible future events, as well as an invitation for some of you to join a small group to help this move forward.