Our Minister: Rev. Richard Lowson

 

 

What next….

Last year I was living with the regret of not finishing my Camino at Finnisterre, the end of the world. The 90 km walk from the wonderful cathedral through the Galician countryside, through sleepy medieval villages to the coast. It has been a pilgrimage route for hundreds of years. It was believed that this was the point the body of St James landed. Many pilgrims walking from Santiago de Compostela find a sense of completion. Finnisterre was the end of the Road, the point from which you could walk no further. It is the place where the land and the setting sun drop into the sea.

On the 6th June I set off to walk to the end of the world. Rucksack on my back and trusty boots on my feet I left Bushey station bound for Santiago, not the usual attire for the commuter train to Euston. But I was on my way.

You were treat to some wonderful views of the cathedral as you looked back toward the city, but it wasn’t long before you were out in the beautiful Galician countryside. Ponte de Ponteolveira with its wonderful medieval bridge and cascading water was a wonderful place to take a much needed rest from walking. Had it not been raining my swimmers would have been on and I’d have been splashing around in that river(as the guide book advised).It was a testing walk, with its hills and rainy days but I persevered. The last hours walk was on the beach in Finnisterre- feet in the ocean rucksack on my back and the end in sight (well almost there was another 3km to the lighthouse and the worlds end). Finnisterre is a special spot, a sacred space, a space to ponder. To reflect on the journey and the what’s next.It’s a pilgrim tradition to burn something at Finnisterre with many walkers setting fire to their boots. I did briefly toy with the idea, they were old boots and the grip is well worn, but somehow I couldn’t.

The Sunset at Finnisterre was something else, again it was just so good to get lost in creation.

End of the journey, and of the world. But to me this is not the end only the end of this Camino. We are called as Christians to be a travelling people, to journey on. It is part of our DNA.

I love the writings of T.S. Elliot and borrow this from his Four Quartets:

Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity

Enjoy the break this Summer may offer you, do some reflecting on your journey with God, ponder on “What next?”.

Richard