Sunday, 8 June 2014


It is of course Pentecost today and I went back to work this morning, visiting a church in intergnum . It's a church I visited fairly frequently in the past.

Having got up early I was then startled by the phone ringing to say that a colleagues car had broken down. Could I go and do the early morning communion too please?

My hair was wet through but off I set.....back to work indeed!

In the north where I grew up this day was Whitsunday. The entire town celebrated it in very spectacular ways.

Each mill town chose a week day after Whitsunday to walk! The walks were never marches. We ambled along the roads of the town in time with brass band music . It was a spectacular show of witness , of our belief and it was also a day when every child had new clothes....even when they were on ration !

Every church or chapel walked...anyone arriving from anywhere else in the world must have wondered what on earth was going on but as a demonstration of Christian witness it was a powerful moment of joy!

On the whole we tend not to go in for Christian demos these days....we are much more dignified and boring!

Maybe we should not be too frightened to show our joy, our beliefs. The Comforter has been sent to us...heaven knows I am glad of a comforter right now and the wonderful words of Acts in this mornings readings...I treasure the thought of old men dreaming dreams....old women too , take it from me! I'm not sure of the visions possible or how many can speak in tongues but we can all try to show our love and joy at various times of our life...we can celebrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit. .Alleluia!




  1. Chesterfield where I lived and worshipped for a number of years still has a Whitsun walk of witness but now held on the late May bank Holiday. Its great to see all the churches of the town with floats and many of the congregation walking along.

  2. I too, remember religious processions in childhood, RC of course, but colourful witness all the same. Some were devoted to the BVM, much like those at Walsingham, May was always a special month for these.

    Pentecost was mostly less celebratory, more a functional acknowledgement that Easter was over and we were back to Normal, off course you than bumped into Trinity.

    Already in my new parish we've had a couple of street processions on Good Friday for instance where the passion and stations of the Cross were shared between churches and we walked together from one to another, following the Cross - singing appropriate hymns.

    It brought back echoes of childhood, and it seems to me something that we could and should be doing more off in Christian Witness - and encouraging all comers.