Fri 18th May : Day 9

Day 9 dawns bright and sunny in Southport. We have had a lot of sunshine on this journey, and have discovered warmth in every place we’ve been.

Esther gets in the quote of the day before we even set off. After getting into my car she asks, ‘Sorry to be a pain, but can I get into the boot?’. And now we can’t set off because we can’t stop laughing. Is my driving really that bad?…

As ever, we extend our gratitude to our various hosts for opening their homes to us and for their warmth and hospitality.

Paul and Sheila go ahead to St Stephens Church, Bradford and spend time with kids from the St Stephens C of E Primary School. When they arrive, children are playing football and other games in the yard. They find a beautiful chalk design drawn onto the pavement. There is fun and enjoyment all around – a picture of God’s Kingdom: different nationalities, even different faiths all coming together and experiencing God’s love. Wendy (of Scargill descent) is there too. Referring to Samuel choosing David she explains to the children that no matter how clever we might think we are, it’s what’s on the inside that matters to God. Craft activities and a film follow.

Meanwhile, back in Southport, Esther, Jonathan and I are releasing a little of God’s love, in the form of chocolates, to the people we meet on the street. This is fun – we share in some great conversations and find opportunities to talk about the Journey. Esther even strikes up a conversation with a real photographer who takes our photo for us (though it’s important to note that we still miss PK!)

We share a meal at a Bradford Balti restaurant which has been recommended to us by one of our hosts. We are not disappointed. Even Paul feels there’s enough naan to go around!

We finish the day at a social event which has been organised for us at St James Church Hall. It is so fitting that Chris Edmondson and his wife Susan are here too. Chris, formerly Bishop of Bolton is chair of the Scargill Trustees and is a former Warden of Lee Abbey. There are around 20 others from the local area too, many with connections to Scargill which is now only an hour’s drive away. We answer questions about the journey. We’ve had a lovely day and evening, and we are grateful too for those who provided hospitality along the way.

And finally, Scargill – end of our journey, is now in sight…

This was posted on 21 May 2018.