For my retreat this year (yes clergy have retreat time each year) I am walking St Cuthbert’s Way – Melrose to Holy Island, around 60 miles; so 15 miles a day over four days.
St Cuthbert is a famous Celtic (indigenous) saint who studied at Melrose Abbey.
As a young person he saw a bright light going to heaven as he looked after livestock. He had a sense that this was a saint being taken to heaven. He later found out it was St Aidan who took Christianity to Lindisfarne (Holy Island). Later Cuthbert followed St Aidan to become Bishop there.
St Cuthbert’s Way is significant as it is not flat; it includes the Cheviots plus a stop at Jedburgh and St Cuthbert’s cave. All of which are described as ‘thin places’.
‘Thin places’ are what Celtic Christians used to describe a place where heaven and earth touch and there is a really tangible sense of holiness and awe. Lindisfarne is also like this. It feels that lots of prayerful people have walked the soil and you connect with love/God more easily.
So, I am off walking, thinking, praying, learning, meeting people and listening out for the holiness around us just a breath away. For all your journeying over the summer I hope you are richly blessed too and return refreshed, reconnected and rejuvenated.