Category: Celtic Christianity

The Sacrificed King

Easter is symbolically the time of the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ. This thread of story and principle runs through our civilisation very deeply; and Easter Sunday is the most important day in the Christian calendar. Jesus (the) Christ did not proclaim himself king, despite being labelled ‘King of the Jews’ – quite the opposite. He said he came ‘from the … Read More The Sacrificed King

Keys of Heaven (10): final resting place…

continued from Part 9 The village of Lastingham, of the southern edge of the North York Moors, was a fitting place to end our weekend – both for its mysterious wells and also on the basis that the crypt of St Mary’s Church marks the final resting place of St Cedd. Following the fateful Synod of Whitby in AD 664, Bishop Cedd returned to … Read More Keys of Heaven (10): final resting place…

Keys of Heaven (9): blown down the mountain

continued from Part 8 My companions of the Silent Eye’s ‘Keys of Heaven’ weekend were waiting when I arrived at the Lion Inn. We had coffee and biscuits and we discussed the options for our last day of the workshop. Everyone was looking forward to the visit to the celebrated St Mary’s church at Lastingham – the final resting place of St Cedd. There … Read More Keys of Heaven (9): blown down the mountain

Keys of Heaven (8): crosses at heaven’s gate

The high pass over the North York Moors is seventeen miles long and crosses the ‘roof of the world’ in the heart of the national park. You’d think twice about going there once the autumn has given way to winter. Local photos show the many times that groups of people have been stranded on the long line of its peak. In one case, in … Read More Keys of Heaven (8): crosses at heaven’s gate

Keys of Heaven (7): the path to gentle darkness

The tiny fishing village of Staithes is a place of peaceful beauty. It lies part way between Whitby and Saltburn on the North Yorkshire coast. It’s geology is also one of the few breaks in the vast cliffs that define this region; and which are the main source of the famous Whitby Jet semi-precious stone. Staithes was our destination… and I was taking a … Read More Keys of Heaven (7): the path to gentle darkness

Keys of Heaven (6): the greater force

The greater force… What did they know of it! Anyone could see it in the fall of boulders in the mountains; in the crashing of the seas on the rocks, in the burning of the forests when the wildfires took hold; in the legends of the earth boiling and glowing when the ground ruptured… But only a few could see it at work in … Read More Keys of Heaven (6): the greater force

Keys of Heaven (5): the will of the king – gathering

We climb the steps to the Abbey at Whitby, aware that something different is happening; that the curtain of time is being drawn back… for as long as we can keep the critical mind at bay The years pass away. From the present keepers back through years of being a rich man’s possession… As – in a mist – we see the year 1539 … Read More Keys of Heaven (5): the will of the king – gathering

Keys of Heaven (4): through the bones of the whale

The pale winter sun lies – to our symbolic view – just beyond the East Cliff horizon. Its lowness and lateness in the cold sky speaks of the approach of the winter solstice, a time of maximum darkness and minimum light…. but also a time of turning. History is made from a series of turning-points. Changes – some of them completely unforeseen and incapable … Read More Keys of Heaven (4): through the bones of the whale

Keys of Heaven (3): the synchronicity of kindness

There’s a certain ‘presence’ about kindness. Like the spiritual – or, more likely, as a part of it – the act of unexpected kindness drops into our lives like a messenger from the ‘Gods’. So it was with our visit to the ancient church of Lythe in the middle of the Friday afternoon of the Keys of Heaven workshop. The village of Lythe lies … Read More Keys of Heaven (3): the synchronicity of kindness

Keys of Heaven (2): a pocket left open for magic

It’s a winter’s tale, so best told in warm snippets… With a weekend workshop carefully envisaged, there’s always a moment where that mental and emotional picture becomes ‘invested’ with life. These old English words contain a wealth of linguistic depth so easily passed over in modern usage. After months of refining the stages, and a preparatory visit, the latest of our ‘Landscape’ workshops was … Read More Keys of Heaven (2): a pocket left open for magic

Keys of Heaven (1): Cod and Lobster

Bright against the icy darkness, the Christmas lights of the Cod and Lobster pub greet the quiet sound of only two sets of winter boots, where, until a few hours ago, there were many… It’s quite a walk down from the car park above the lovely fishing village of Staithes – pronounced ‘Steas’ – just north of Whitby along the coast of Yorkshire’s beautiful … Read More Keys of Heaven (1): Cod and Lobster

Divide and be Conquered

It’s a funny thing, division – its principles apply to many aspects of our lives. We can cut something up, but its original ‘wholeness’ persists in ways we may never have considered. Wholeness as a concept is worth some thought. Can we step back and consider why we think something is whole? Is it simply that ‘it works’ – in the way that a … Read More Divide and be Conquered

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