14-17th July 2011
In 304, the Welsh priest that Alban saved was captured in Caerleon and it is suggested that he may have been the Bishop of Llandaff (now part of Cardiff) so it was one more good reason to be with Jen and Steve Hallet who live in Llandaff before setting out on this walk. It is a privilege and a joy to connect with such people of the land.
I was looking to forward to standing in Caerleon once more having found it so open and responsive. Like meeting a new friend, I wished there was more time to hang out but we had 140 miles to cover. So in order to step into St Albans 4 days later, so it was time to push the miles beneath our feet.
That morning felt wild as if I was high up on wings, looking down while keeping my balance in the strong winds of the heights. This place Caerleon had opened up a whole new level, where the truth that ALL is possible is like an overriding force that surges through every sense and throws you headlong into such truth.
We set off to complete this ‘de-lidding’, this prising open of a crusty old ceiling that had become ground for our feet but actually is a covering over the real land beneath. When I walked in Anglesey in April 2008 my impression was the same…
‘Control is like a Lid tightly Sealed
To subdue…..contain and bury…
Taking its time to cultivate a life
On top of that which it pronounces dead!
It slowly spreads Ugly Rumours
about what is beneath
Until the fear of removing the lid is
Proportionate to the fear incurred
In the heart of the controller
Who ensured the enclosure in the first place…..’
At Chepstow we crossed the old Severn bridge with fond farewells to Wales. A royal authority, a ‘Chief of chiefs : Pen dragon’ is resident in the hidden place that is Caerleon and it has surfaced. It has awakened to take part in the summoning of a new day in these islands and we were thankful for its ancient ‘war-chief’ breath to our backs.
We ploughed eastwards until Fosse Way, the roman road into Cirencester then headed to Swindon to stay with the Smith family, as it was Ruth Smith who walked to Chester from Lincoln with us.
Swindon has been a dead-lock but all dead-locks contain living keys that are willing to lay down their ‘turn’ in order to remain in that place. It is a hard place to be but when it is the ‘turn’ of the living key, it opens the whole dead-lock. Ruth is one of these ‘living keys’…hidden, full of life and so ‘turned’ upside down by Jesus. Us coming through her home was bringing a friction and putting something in motion for her, her home and the whole area…an unlocking. If Chester and Lincoln are the hinges then this is part of the padlock.
There is such a beauty when God uses the ‘crud’ in our lives to unlock treasure.
We continued towards Oxford aware that that we were walking through a ‘padlock’. It was here we began to shadow the River Thames or the River Isis as it is officially not the Thames until Thame. There was a huge air show in the smallest of hamlets directly on our route which meant what should have been a quiet, easy way through was stacked out with manic traffic and people, coupled with constant jets careering over head! One walker had a nasty fall and was constantly thrown off course to get to our reconnaissance at Radcot.
Radcot on the Thames; the place where in 1387 a couple of my ancestors set in motion what was to become ‘The Wars of the Roses’ fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York, the “red” and the “white” rose, respectively, which is why I have opted for Pink!
Rivers have a strong right on the land and end up carrying the burden and baggage of poor human stewardship. Isis is a direct link to our own ‘headship’ opposing the true headship of Jesus which I believe to be the root of masonry.
I could feel such strength with me this day as if all the walking so far has built layer upon layer a ‘new’ way through these places. A way that draws on the underlying strength in the land rather than bouncing off the obstacles and hindrances that have been set in place to maintain the status quo. It literally felt like a plough, tearing open the surface to reveal fresh soil.
There was a definite welcome in the wind as I crossed the A34 at Oxford. A descendant of the Roald Dahl story-telling legacy met me at the Catherine Wheel pub. Resting at a old priory for a swishwiffling pint, it was a treat to be escorted in this literary place by a young lady, in love with Jesus and completely unboxed and unbridled by religion. As it happens she will live in Caerleon from the Autumn onwards.
Making a bee-line for St Albans we crossed the Icknield Way and went through Great Missenden passing Roald Dahls Museum, exactly where two years ago I walked through on my way to Maidenhead from Lincoln. Crossing Hemel Hempstead was like going through an open door, an open welcoming place that is St Albans far more friendly neighbour.
This is my sixth visit to St Albans, a place that is not voluntarily acquiescent to the followers of The Way but each time there has been something fresh to lay hold of in this city. While relishing being in union with Jesus that morning the words came at me like a steam train ‘Today is a day for a beheading’. Little did I know that the plight of a 13 year old girl had finally ignited the explosion needed to topple the heads involved in controlling the media, the government and the police. All I knew was that the ‘head’ of man that has sort to raise itself above the need for God was being lopped off that day. Man’s ‘headship’ to run its own affairs and have the control manifests highly in St Albans and the sword that was given me in Turkey in 2007 was the double blade of ‘rightness and justice’ to sever it.
Just as Alban lost his head for Jesus on that hill so St Albans has lost its head on that hill. With a Boadicean stride passing the roman fort and looping the cathedral , at last three of us stood at the junction of St Peters and Catherine street and put our three heads together.
All for the ‘Three in One’ and the ‘One in Three’,
And for our oneness, placed in the Trinity
Standing in the kiss of The Cross…
Yes, we are off our heads….because what Jesus has done is mind blowing! We engaged with the True Head to bring pressure to bear on this ‘false head’ and disengage head from neck. No more head-butting here!
We called for ‘head-Off, Lid-Off, rip it all off and open it all up’! So all in all, heads rolled that day and we salute Alban, the first known head to roll for Jesus in these islands because that is our inheritance in this nation and we will not be told otherwise.
My absolute thanks to Andrew and Nicki who walked all the way with me, to Dave, Graham and Ruth for coming as well, to Ruth and Neale in Swindon for looking after us and Sarah and Tim in Wheathampstead. My huge thanks to those who flew overhead calling and praying over us from their homes.
The next two walks in September and October will form a cross across this whole area marked out and unsealed with a kiss. A kiss because Christ took our place and kissed us back to life on a cross. Firstly from Chester to St Albans and lastly from Lincoln to Caerleon.
The rest of the walk dates can be found here.
Thank you for reading so far, there’s such alotta glory on tha feet…..