Distance: 12.3 miles (340.4 total).
Duration: 5 hrs 9 mins.
Lowest Temp: 0ºc.
Weather: A green and pleasant land? I think Mr Blake must have been holidaying in Scotland.
Highest Alt: 580 ft.
Archdeacon Watch: After complaining of a near-death experience during the morning session he rallied after Midday Prayer and a Mars bar.
Young Tom’s departure was much like his arrival, and he slipped away from us in the dead of night. Actually it was about seven in the morning when he got a cab to Berwick, but as far as The Archdeacon and I are concerned that’s the dead of night.
Today’s was one of the more challenging legs weather-wise, and the meteorological conditions took a significant turn for the worse about halfway through the day, some five minutes or so after The Archdeacon had breezily asserted, 'It’s definitely clearing up now.’
Apologies for yesterday’s fairly downbeat post. The good people of All Saints, Edmonton must be beginning to wonder if they need to start advertising for a new Vicar, I’ve been sounding so morose about this pilgrimage ending. Today I’ve been feeling considerably brighter, and I’ve got St Aidan to thank for the change in my mood.
Walking today’s miles, which have brought us virtually within sight of Lindisfarne, I began to wonder how St Aidan felt as he grew ever nearer to Bamburgh Castle, and ever further from Iona and the people he knew. I guess that we’ve firmly established by now that I’m not particularly qualified to peer into the minds of Saints, nevertheless I’d like to imagine that at this point in his journey St Aidan was feeling those often twinned emotions of anticipation and apprehension: he had travelled across the country at the request of Oswald, King of Northumbria, and it was to be his mission to found a community on the pattern of Iona on this far shore, there was a lot for him to look forward to; but at the same time he was leaving behind so much that was familiar to him.
Some people have questioned what I can possibly hope to find in the lives of the Celtic Saints that might be of use where I serve in North London: at first glance there would appear to be a great deal more than miles which separate Iona and N9. However, the world those Saints worked and worshipped in was very similar to the context I serve in. Theirs was a multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-faith society, and they often had to profess their faith in the face of opposition. When Aidan went to Northumbria he was going to a people whose language he did not even speak. He went to them and he walked with them.
I don’t suppose I’ve even begun to figure out what Iona, and Columba, and Aidan, and Lindisfarne, and Cuthbert, and that whole era of Christianity has to offer to the community I serve, but I do believe that those two worlds are much close than they might at first appear.