Reflection on Pilgrimage to St David’s

Adrian reflects on the community pilgrimage to St David’s and St Non’s:

Our time in St David’s and St Non’s was a very special experience and one that will stay in my memory for a long time.  The first bit I want to focus on is our initial visit to St David’s cathedral.  We were welcomed so warmly by one of the Canons of the Cathedral, in spite of the busyness and sense of expectation building at the arrival of the BBC in our midst….no not for us this time, but for Choral Evensong on radio 3.  We went there with expectation that we would be led in some prayers at the shrine of St David but what ended up happening was far more special than I could have imagined.

We were taken to the Lady Chapel, the part of the Cathedral of which as its foundations stood the original chapel that St David himself would have founded and prayed in.  The service that followed was simple in its construction but the words of encouragement to us as a community and then the prayers of healing and anointing absolutely hit the mark and through its simplicity as well as the location it drew me close to God in a way that I hadn’t experienced for a few months.  The talk was very much an encouragement to us.

My time at St David’s helped me to reflect on the importance of doing the little things and doing them joyfully.   Often we don’t need to do anything extraordinary to have an impact on others but just in the simplicity of people knowing they are being prayed for and the witness we give to the wider community is enough.  This was to me the theme that followed throughout the pilgrimage, being simply together in prayer was already more than could be hoped for and gave much joy and hope even as far as St David’s.

I then began to reflect on our mission work to Merthyr Tydfil.  It was a mission that has had some impact that seems to be lasting beyond us being present but what was it that made the mission so special?  The words that came back from the faithful people at Merthyr were around having a young community of prayer that was authentic and how special that was and the example that was set by that.  Having us just walking alongside them in their exploration of going outside of their comfort zones and realising us also by being there with them were out of our natural surroundings.  This wasn’t speaking primarily to any great feat or initiative within the week, although such events did take place, but at the core were the little things of love, fellowship and a pattern of prayer and it was these that ultimately drew the churches together in a way that hadn’t been experienced for a while.  The simple, little things were at the core, just caring enough to be there and talk with them and share their lives for a short period was enough.  I think we can often get carried away and distracted by trying to come up with the next big initiative or reorganization of the church, or in our lives, that will resolve all the problems but what we must never do is take our main focus away from what are the simple, little things that build up the foundations of our spiritual life and ultimately are what open up the paths for God to work through us in the world.

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