Saturday 24 July 2021
Something we often seem to be missing in 21st century life is a sense of being part of an ongoing continuum, a line of people, tradition and practices going back centuries and, God-willing, forward into the future.
Speaking to writer Nick Mayhew-Smith helped me to grab hold of the huge value of seeking out and cherishing those connections - there’s clearly so much we can learn from those who’ve gone before, in the way they did their faith and experienced God.
As the author of the best-selling Britain’s Holiest Places, Britain’s Pilgrim Places, and now, Landscape Liturgies, he’s travelled the length and breadth of the UK, seeking out stories of people and places, hermits and holiness, saints and spirituality.
For Nick, there’s also a need to experience something of what those saints and hermits did - whether that’s wading naked into an icy sea to pray, or rowing out to a hermit island in the middle of a Cumbrian lake to spend a solitary night.
I guess we’re all on some sort of a quest through life to discover meaning, connection and peace, and Nick encourages us to get out and search for the sacred, the special, the unnerving, the mysterious, the remote, the holy, to feed our souls and find our place in 2000 years of varied, fascinating and hugely inspiring Christian tradition and practice.