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notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK
Saturday, January 25, 2003Exploration and exploring The Mirfield Centre today I had one of those Little Gidding moments. You know, the bit where Eliot writes:
and the voice of this Calling
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And to know the place for the first time.
This is not a new thought but a returning to a good old one; and among many rich things said by the guest speakers today I was especially encouraged by a slight remark by David Hope, Archbishop of York. He mentioned a couple of 'signs of hope' in the way the church interacts with the world today - and one was Greenbelt.
Greenbelt is, of course, the 'marginal' place which has energised my journey for 25-plus years; a community of creativity and inspiration. A place to dream and try, and fail, dream more and try again. It's somewhere which addresses in art and soul, so many of the questions we were grappling with today. How to make connections; how to 'earth' spirituality; how to 'travel light'; how to listen for God's voice among the artists and outsiders.
Greenbelt's not the only space where this happens, of course, but it's the one which has most helped me. Good, today, to spend time in another but similar space, exploring how to change our language from the "discourse of mourning" at the decline of our structures into something positive and new, how to "inhabit the collapsing Temple" (James Alison) and to "keep [our] mind[s] in hell and despair not" (David Hope / St. Silouan).
It wasn't a comfortable place, but as Rudolph Bora has said,