Sun 13th May : Day 4
Day four dawned bright and sunny in Oxford. As ever, we are hugely grateful to our hosts for their warm welcome and generous hospitality. Today will be a long day. But, before it begins, we’re treated to a wonderful cooked breakfast in the church hall. Now we’re ready for the day!Between us we’re able to cover four different church services at St James and St Francis Churches in the parish of Cowley, including a Punjabi service (providing a very different cultural and interesting experience for those attending).
During the services, we’re each asked questions about the Lee Abbey and Scargill Communities, the purpose of the Journey and its links to the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ initiative. It’s a great opportunity to share what we’re doing.
And then it’s time to hit the road again. Miracolusly, even PK’s jigsaw manages to find a place in the cars (did we leave something behind?!). Then, we’re on our way, but where?!
We arrive at St Peters Church in Wellsbourne (near Stratford-on-Avon) in time for coffee, cake and an early evening service presided over by Kate Mier. Kate, who’s currently coming to the end of a year in Scargill’s Community served in this church from 2004. Those who came along were clearly delighted to steal her back for the evening. During the service, she takes the opportunity to put us on the spot with some questions. I am prepared as I can be, having memorised key information about last night’s Eurovision Song Contest. But instead, Kate is interested in our experiences of Community, Hospitality and the Journey (probably just as well). One thing we all agree on – the Journey is helping us to see clear links between these three things – and we see God’s heart at the centre of them.
Following the service, we travel to nearby Kineton where we are treated to the most lavish and sumptuous bring and share meal I can remember (the equivalent of slaughtering the fattened calf?!). Not for the first time, we are humbled by such generous hospitality.
It has been a long day, with many different and fruitful encounters, and late in the evening we finally make our way to the homes of our various hosts… Tomorrow is another day…