Thought for the Day - August 25th

Published by Michael Topple on Tue, 25 Aug 2020 10:34
Church Without Walls

Thought for the Day Blog, 25 August 2020: Stories of Faith and Journey

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit Edinburgh, as we did a few weekends ago, you will, no doubt, have walked the Royal Mile. You may have noticed this beautifully restored building which was the home of John Knox, and is situated across the road from St Giles, the beautiful Church of Scotland Cathedral. If you look carefully on the left had side of the building, you can read the words ‘Scottish Storytelling Centre’, which is what happens here in non-Covid times: stories are told with tours of the old town offered. We did enjoy a socially distanced walking tour which was fascinating, and it got me thinking about the importance of story telling and remembering, for it is in this way that we maintain our connection with the past, whilst preparing ourselves practically, emotionally and spiritually, for the new journeys ahead. 

Today, I am reminded of the ancient story to which we, as Christians, are connected: the Lord’s work amongst the people of Israel, leading to the birth of the saviour of the world, Jesus, and the establishment of ‘The Way’, which is what the early Christian church was called. Today, I want to reflect on the stories which are ancient which inform the stories we are telling and the ways we are travelling today. Not only have I chosen a Bible passage (Isaiah 2:3-5) which is used as a canticle in today’s Morning Prayer, but I have chosen to tell you about a Colchester resident, Rosemary Jewers (76), who will be walking almost 90 miles while tracing the route of the Pedders Way through Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. 

Enjoy reading, reflecting and possibly acting on what you have read. Ask yourself: what journeys have influenced my life? What ways am I called to walk today, and in the weeks to come that weave a new story into being - past, present and future? How is it that God is leading me?

Spirit of God, teach us your ways,

that we may walk in the paths of peace.

Come, let us go up to the mountain of God, 

to the house of the God of Jacob;

That God may teach us his ways, 

and that we may walk in his paths.

For the law shall go out from Zion, 

and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

God shall judge between the nations, 

and shall mediate for many peoples.

They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, 

and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, 

neither shall they learn war any more.

O people of Jacob, come: 

let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Isaiah 2.3-5

Spirit of God, teach us your ways,

that we may walk in the paths of peace.

The story of Pedders Way, Little Massingham Church, Rosemary Jewers and Rina Adams. 

Colchester resident, Rosemary Jewers, will be walking almost 90 miles while tracing the route of the Pedders Way, a Roman Road which, her extensive research revealed, ran from Colchester to Holme next to Sea, Norfolk.

On 22nd September, 76 year old Rosemary and her walking companion, Rina Adams, will be leaving Balkerne Gate, Colchester, Essex, to walk to the north Norfolk coast. She will be trying to trace the ancient Roman route from Colchester, which joined the known Peddars Way which starts in Suffolk. Rosemary said, ‘I’ve been keen to follow up a story handed down through some four generations of my family, that Peddars Way ran between Colchester and the Norfolk coast. Having been born and raised in Little Massingham, Norfolk, this family story really resonated with me. While undertaking this 90 or so mile walk, I’m hoping to raise funds to help Little Massingham Church, Norfolk. All the money donated will go towards restoring the church roof after all the lead was stolen.’

The theft of the lead was devastating news for the parishioners and, as Patron of the church, Rosemary really wanted to help a small community raise the £150,000 needed to complete the refurbishment. Peddars Way passes through Little Massingham, not far from the church.

Until a year ago Rosemary was unable to walk a mile but over the last few months, following a strict training regime, she can now manage more everyday, some days she will be walking over thirteen miles. Rosemary and Rina welcome the company of anyone wishing to join them as they trek along sections of this timeworn Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk route.

High Steward of Colchester, Sir Bob Russell, has offered to walk with them all the way to the Suffolk border. Rosemary said, ‘I really appreciate Sir Bob offering us his support and we hope it will be an inspiration to others to join us along the route.’

Rosemary went on to say, ‘Colchester people have been very generous and have already started to donate to help renovate this Norfolk parish church.’ She is hoping that many more people in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk will be able to help her to reach just over her £5000 target.

Rosemary and Rina were due to start their trek in April but COVID-19 came along so they had to postpone the event.

Lings Country Goods, Lynn Road, Gt Massingham, King’s Lynn PE32 2HJ have kindly offered to accept cash and cheque donations made payable to Rosemary Jewers. For those able to donate online she has a Just Giving page at:

The blog site has a page on Rosemary’s research and will have more information about when and where they will be on certain days.

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