Friday, 19 February 2010


Pete asks: What is going on?

Dear Confused of Brooklyn, I assume that this refers to your earlier comment regarding my clothing arrangements. Most morning’s, what’s going on is this (in order of appearance): boxer trunks (is that what they’re called? You all know the sort of things I mean), Compeed blister plaster, thermal liner socks, thermal top, thermal leggings, thick socks, waterproof leggings, thin top, walking boots, waterproof jacket, gaiters. Most days this has been entirely unnecessary, and what should have been going on was, flip flops, Bermuda shorts, t-shirt, sun-hat.

Cath asks: If you could have one day of your pilgrimage (so far) again, which would it be and why?

Gosh. Visiting St Columba’s Bay on Iona was incredibly moving, as that is where so many great journeys began, in so many different ways, including my small pilgrimage. In terms of pure walking, yesterday was probably one of the finest days so far. However, I’d have to say the seventh day, walking between Inveraray and Inverarnan. It was the day I was most looking forward to, walking up away from Loch Fyne into the mountains, before dropping back down to the top of Loch Lomond. It was a wonderful experience, and what’s more to go back to day seven would mean I still had fourteen days of walking still ahead of me, instead of only seven.

Elaine asks: Why is it you are looking suspiciously like a Russian partisan?

Dear Elaine, you have four weeks to find yourself a new church to worship in!

Michael asks: Is the Holy Spirit nudging you to have as part of our future a book about your experience?

Dear Michael, I certainly intend to spend part of March writing something about this experience. I think I’ll take the days of the pilgrimage as the framework, and expand on some of the reflections that have come out of them. Whether or not I have it in me to produce a book, I don’t know. It would be good, at the very least, maybe to produce some Quiet Day material or something like that. Thank you for all your words of encouragement.

Susie asks: How come you have had endless days of beautiful weather and stunning scenery, and when I joined you I got rain, Glasgow and a litter strewn Clyde?

Dear Susie, God knows that frail sinners need a lot of encouragement if they are to make good pilgrims; so, for most of my journey He’s surrounded me with warmth and beauty, but when we were together, He left that up to you.


  1. Stuart,

    What I most loved was you acknowledgement of Susie. The impact of the blessing and graces you are receiving and sharing are being experienced by a friend in California too:

    "Not often have I seen a writer refer to himself in the third person and in this account I enjoyed how he uses it. The image catcher (he's a photographer friend) thoroughly liked the scenes included in the account. For me, the centerpiece to the entire account is this paragraph: "What's more, all the people I'm privileged to share life's pilgrimage with, are not extra weight....and the more I can learn to love, the more I will understand that the people I encounter are never weights but gifts."

    Indeed, a most generous and challenging mindset that needs an open and accepting heart lest nothing is accomplished.

    I relished his use of four words: mucked, faffled, tinkered and fiddled. So today I'm working on doing them myself..."

    Now I'm off to Enlighten Next to converse about shifting the world through consciousness evolution and collective intelligence through a network of co-creators of the future.


  2. I've got to hand it to you: Every one of those was a good answer and if between them they don't demonstrate both the breadth and depth of your character then I don't know what does.

    Glad that you have (apparently) emerged from the North Sea successfully and good luck with the next leg.


    P.S. Do you know, I actually think you do have it in you to write a book. Leni - are you still reading - is there a deal to be had?!

    P.P.S. Re the increasingly Russian look: you know you'll always be welcome with us :)

  3. LOL Stuart .... have I just been exterminated.... oops, excommunicated .... or something!

    Never did get round to 'serious' yesterday .... too much 'serious' going on here to be honest.

    However, I do have a 'serious' ..... a tiny thought that comes to mind.

    It is possibly fairly easy to love the people you come across in the normal course of events. After all, one's upbringing means that one tends to move in a specific circle of people that are pretty much like yourself. (Although as a vicar, you probably get outside this 'comfort zone' more often, I guess).

    However, our Lord associated himself with some fairly dodgy types, by the standard of the day! From the very looked down on shepherds at his birth to the tax collectors, Roman soldiers, fallen women, the bleeding woman to name but a few. I wonder who our Lord would consider to be today's 'unloveables' that we aught to seek out?


  4. For Elaine and Stuart. For 'uinloveables' read those with AIDS. The first high profile person to confront this barrier was Princess Di. I'm not saying she was a 'holy' person but she did do a lot for these people, many of whom contracted this disease by blood transfusion. Re Stuart's Cap. Is this a hint of a forthcoming Gulag at All Saints?

  5. Have lost track of where you are now but guess it is somewhere near the border. Am so proud of what you have done (and still doing). Can't wait to see you. Lots of Love Mum.

    P.S. Sheena is following your blog and sends her best wishes.