Beverley Minster has a tradition of a cycle ride around our five church buildings, starting and finishing at the Minster. Like all the best traditions it’s, ooh, at least 4 years old. But I wasn’t to know it was so newfangled when I agreed to take part. Anyway, we raise funds for our mission links and for ourselves as the riders get sponsorship.
Great to get going in 2011 with a little exercise. Great to do something new (ish – not ridden the bike for a while). Great to visit each of the buildings in my care. Not so great to consume more calories than I expended – but the hospitality in each church was wonderful, and a vital expression of our being together.
It made me realise that the motor car can insulate us from our surroundings. Perhaps my precedessors, on foot, on horseback, or in a coach or trap at horse speed, will have had much more of a rooted connection with their parish than I do. And it was a reminder that a pilgrimage is about the journey as well as the destination, and that church ministry is perhaps best exemplified in the manner of welcome you get and the expression of hospitality you find.
Well, that was my excuse for eating scones, biscuits and stollen anyway. Would have been rude not to…
Happy New Year.