Idealised country living?

Following writing on Britain from above, and listening to yesterdays Thinking Allowed I have been pondering on the question of vocational living in any one of these places, rural, semi-rural, urban, city etc.

There must be a vocational element to living in each of these, I’ve always been drawn to the rural setting, I don’t seem to be built for the city somehow…

However after the illuminating picture of Britain from above, and listening to reflections on rural living, perhaps the real challenge is to live in a more heavily populated area and work towards reducing the footprint away from the centre of that geographical area, keeping money and travelling local rather than spreading it across a larger area.  I think, rather than suggesting one lifestyle, (rural, urban etc is better than the other), the thing to focus on is locality.  Following the reflections on Thinking Allowed, it seems to rural has as much to learn about community from urban centres as the perhaps idyllic rural images people may have are either not true or created rather than natural.

Those who seek the urban ‘pretty gardens and perfect lawns’ need to see the real rural life which ocasionally contains a little mud on the road, or perhaps a chicken or two and the idillyc rural seekers need to learn about small communities needing the involvement of each individual and of a life lived more in the open.

So where does that leave to vocation to a rural setting?  Answers to that may be short, but certainly not closed.  It may take on an altogether different style of ministry from the traditional rural…

Britain from above

Andrew Marr investigates Britain from above (BBC1 Sunday) – a revelation – if in reality there is no new information, it is truly a revelation to see Britain in this way, it really does display the preference of the country, in its movements, daily struggle to get to places, the transport networks, infrastructure and information paths. Rather than looking at the ever increasing light trails that the program used to display our movements and those of the transport we use, including telephone and internet, I was more interested in the ‘blank’ patches and found myself wondering where these were, some obvious like Snowdon, or Aldermarston but others not so obvious. These blank patches represented a slower pace of life, a life which perhaps was more in tune with the land around it, rather than racing about around the country. The website dedicated to this program has quite a resource of information… Thankfully Holywell seems to be a little out of the ‘mad rush’ areas, I plan to move (when I get the chance) to an even less ‘mad rush’ area next, (and hopefully expand it!)

Extreme Pilgrim

I’ve just finished watching Extreme Pilgrim on the new BBCi player, v.useful!! Well, I thought I had better watch the program since I preached about it in the context of epiphany!!

Revd Peter Owen Jones says that Church of England is intellectual, while one of the religions he is visiting is purely physical in its spirituality, its path to God. Well, I would have to say that after a weekend of bricklaying, I rather feel that we can do the physical as well, we just have to be slightly more creative about it. Perhaps laying the foundations of a greenhouse is not quite what he is on about…

I look forward to the next episode on Friday 9pm BBC2

Since writing the above I have realised that I always ‘write’ my sermons whilst doing something, walking, shopping, gardening etc. I guess the physical frees the mind to think clearly.