|Chas drove me up from His parish on the fringes of Torbay to Launde Abbey in the middle of nowhere in Leicestershire – a beautiful setting in gracious grounds with plenty of sheep. I was leading the retreat/ gathering and took as my theme a phrase from George herbert’s poem on prayer: Heaven in ordinary. On the Tuesday evening I had the opportunity of showing a powerpoint on Bahrain and St Christopher’s and on Wednesday I had prepared two addresses on the theme Heaven in ordinary with material for people to go away and reflect on. There was also a Bible study which I had prepared for several groups and then we came together for a plenary session. At the final service I quoted from Dennis Lennon’s Turning the Diamond where he reflects on ‘How ordinary is God’s ordinary?’ As ordinary as the incarnation of our Lord Jesus, who made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant. The splendor of his majestic glory was not allowed to distance him from us; he came as close to us as one of us. The God, who in his blazing holiness is a terrifying prospect for sinful people, has done the unthinkable. He has crossed over to our side in Christ…
One of the joys of these days was meeting up with Dennis Lennon’s widow Sonja with two other old friends Emlyn and Tricia Williams, from Cambridge days who have given a lifetime’s service with Scripture Union and who came across for the Wednesday afternoon off.
It was good too meet several friends and some previous members of St Christopher’s attending the gathering.
Following the Retreat I had the opportunity of spending some family time especially being with my mother for her 88th birthday which also brought the family together. One of the highlights for me was her opening her eyes and saying my name. It was good to see all our daughters and for me to visit Hannah in her new office in the Lloyds of London iconic building and have a tour of it. I hadn’t realized the particular links with Nelson and it was fascinating to see some of the Nelson memorabilia.