A weekend with old friends…

We have just had a lovely weekend with our friends Andy and Clare, along with their kids Sam and Hannah.  The sun shone, and it was great to spend time with them all, and for them to meet some of our friends up here too.

We have known them for a long time- I reckon I have known Andy half of my life, and Clare not much less. We have been around each other through lots of changes and challenges. We attended the same church in England, and Andy and I played music and led worship. We also spent a lot of time in the mountains together.

Life sends you in different directions. We moved to Scotland, but Andy has taken the radical step of stepping outside the rat race (he was an IT consultant/project manager) and working for a Christian charity called Fusion.

In fact, if you are interested in how church might better connect with the community that surrounds its crumbling walls- then I recommend you check out some of the things that they are doing. In fact, Andy would love to hear from you if you want to know more- he has responsibility for developing contacts in the North of the UK- and Scotland.

Some photos (note that Clare managed to avoid the lens- she is good at that)-

Lost coins

The M6 unrolls it magic carpet in the early evening light
And the hills of Lancashire draw me close in welcome.
Though my life is blessed now in a land of milk and heather honey
Still I look across this scarred land
Softened by green growth
Seeded with my memories
And feel close to home

Rivington
Alan, Peter and me
Pounding and panting up the steep tracks
To rest and recuperate at the heady height of the Pike.
Above us only the TV masts poking the whispy cloud,
As in front the lights of Chorley flicker on.
Horwich is hidden by the curve of the land
And in the far distance, the flat lands meet the sea at Blackpool.

Closer, held in the folds of the fields
Along the old roads
Stand stone houses, built out of the quarries at our feet
Falling into the creases of the earth like lost coins
Hidden treasures.

Here was my world.
My place of communion.
My Eden
Or so it seems with hindsight.

Now I pass through, driving south
And a little rain makes the road ahead darker
In the warm car, surrounded by a sleepy family
I grip the wheel gratefully
But with a sadness
Move on.

© Chris Goan 24.5.05.