As the Superintendent of an 18 church circuit I wondered how I was going to get around to each congregation & meet with people; how do I get a picture of the area? How do we encourage relationships between churches? It seemed like a mammoth task and yet the answer has come in the simplest & most unexpected of ways – walk!
Earlier in the year I had the idea that I might walk from church to church throughout the month of May; stop at each for some worship & hospitality and hopefully meet with local congregations. Arthur Sara, the circuit layworker, and I poured over maps and neatly divided the 18 churches into threes....that was 6 days walking and then let the churches know what was happening. Although generally supportive there was still a degree of scepticism, not least from me as I wondered if anyone would actually be there to greet me in each location.
However,I can honestly say that the Circuit Pilgrimage has being beyond my hopes & expectations.
For a start I have always had companions for my journey; people who have chosen to walk with me; many I did not know before we set off but who by the end were firm friends. We have shared stories; laughed & joked as well as talked about the deep things of life.
Secondly I have seen the area in a way that you do not when you only drive through; beautiful countryside; small rural communities; snippets of local history and an awareness of the diversity of need & opportunity in the area that the Vale of Aylesbury Circuit covers. And of course the real joy has being to learn of the area from the real experts – those who live in it.
Thirdly in every place we have stopped we have being offered generous hospitality. It has been wonderful to drink tea & eat cake with so many people from across the circuit. Thank you!
And finally in and through all these things we have known we are in the presence of Christ.