29TH JULY TO 1ST AUGUST
Weddings, Brides and Marriage….
Having reached Lincoln on June 25th to a throng of bells and delivering all that had been carried there, this walk around London felt like the ‘the icing on the cake’.
Recently I was approached by an unbeliever, who on our first meeting asked me to tell her what God was saying about her future. As I held her hand, I began to see all manner of weddings taking place from the vantage point of standing on a wedding cake, in the place of the plastic bride and groom! When I described what I had seen, she burst into tears and confessed a long-lost dream of becoming a wedding planner!!
This wedding theme seemed to precede this walk, drawing also on marriage and love stories in our nation’s history from a time when royal marriage was all about expansion and power and not at all of love.
The day after I arrived in Lincoln on June 26th, I went into the Cathedral on God’s instruction. We had an important appointment that day….I knelt at the ‘great alter’ and said ‘I do’ to the King of kings…and Jesus filled that amazing venue for me…legitimised through marriage in the very place my namesake and ancestor was, 600 years ago by a king maker. To marry a King, is to become a Queen, a coronation and marriage in one. This is the inheritance of ‘the bride’ and her true status, royalty and rulership, lifted, legitimised and restored by Love itself.
This walking for me is all about intimacy, for me this is the prayer and this last walk was calling for marriage to Jesus, the ‘oneness’ and coming into the reality of true marriage with the One we come from and go to. A truth that shatters the way our union with the Almighty has been so minimised into our own thinking.
Preceding this final walk, Paul Wood (from Cobham) and I went into the city of London, to bag the 2 last Eleanor crosses and touch a few areas to pray. We began on the steps of St Paul’s where a year ago we had left our coins to ‘feed the birds’… even if it caused a ‘run on the bank’! We went down Cheapside to bag the 11th Eleanor Cross, greeting ‘John Smith’ of the Pocahontas renown, stood beside Bow Bells.
We trawled our way through Ludgate Hill, Blackfriars, Fleet Street to Lincoln’s Inn, a ‘Inn’ of Law going back to the 13th century. In the grounds we felt like mice in the bell tower, ordered off the grass, we wandered the car park and quietly made room for Lincoln to find its way in. In *Lincoln’s Inn, we opened the door to Lincoln and bid it come in! Just the simple fact that I carry such a deep connection with Lincoln and being there was enough. It was like letting Lincoln out into that place where the law is such a foundation stone in our nation and from where change must come.
The 12th Eleanor Cross was the best, avoiding the decoy ‘Charing Cross’ we stood in the real place on a roundabout holding Charles 1st next to Trafalgar Square. A plaque is there confessing the actual 12th and last place an Eleanor cross was erected and every distance in London is measured from this point. All 12 are now in my ‘Mary Poppins’ bag, jostling around and vying for position no doubt. Meanwhile, each point between London and Lincoln has been marked as a place of intimacy, the crossing over of heaven to earth and Eleanor’s own cross, that she without a doubt carried, was given back to her in Lincoln Cathedral, Lol! Sorted!
Walking Maidenhead to Romford…
This walk was the 12th and final walk of the ‘Bell’ shape and forms a semi-circle around the south of Greater London that I had marked with gold thread, it even looks like a gold bowl. From the start this has represented a convex lens to me, through which a light streams from Lincoln to this lens and then displays over the whole of the SE of England. So a team joined me for three days walking from Maidenhead to Cobham, to Bromley and finally to arrive in Romford and complete this walk of ‘The Bell’.
As we skirted Windsor and it’s forest on the first day, we were buffeted off course and in no uncertain terms an unwelcome interruption to the power of status in that area. It felt just like the time we walked through the New Forest, these ‘royal’ domains have such a disdain for anything that is not of tradition and bureaucratically sewn-up in the seen and unseen realms. It was tough ground but walking is such a wonderfully simple science we get through eventually and arrived in Cobham by the day’s end.
Cobham is a place I have had marked as part of this ‘Bell shape’ since the start and now seemed to make sense as to why. The ‘Bell’ on the map is in mid ‘swing’ towards the east and the plumb line is from Lincoln through Cobham to the coast. For me Cobham has been a place where people have inspired me, for one, Martin Scott was based there and was the one voice I listened for in the malaise of a one time, pioneering movement. I have never ceased to admire the bravery of the church group ‘Pioneer People’ there, who were willing to lay their organisation down in order that something of new life would emerge. An incredible prophetic act and the only one of it’s kind I know of. As a dear ‘father’ from that place said, “We have come out of the ‘old’ and some painful times of mourning and loss but now we are looking to come into the ‘new’ ”
It seemed appropriate to base ourselves in this place and call for the plumb line of intimacy with Jesus, The Way ahead, His Way to be our way and from here on in an unknown way because we are relinquishing control. The youngest amongst us was moved to tears as a yearning for Jesus could not be contained, the very essence that will take us into a ‘new’ way, His Way of rest and fullness. A well has been really well dug here, wells are simple to open, you just drink and rest by them because that is what they are for. However, sometimes there is a need to take a position & crack some thing open when it is still being contested and I believe we had a fair crack in the face of the disapproval, reprimand and criticism that hangs over that place with an ugly stoop.
We walked on from there through Epsom and Banstead, skirting along Sutton and Croydon and Bromley towards Bexleyheath and the Thames.
In the centre of Romford there was a lovely old medieval pub called ‘The Golden Lion’ where we all finally arrived, my best cold larger to date bar the one during Ramadan in Syria! Next to this quaint establishment is the crossing of a two road precinct shaped like a cross inside the city ring road. In the cross centre is a stone laid with a circle marked and a cross inside it. As we stood and began to spill our hearts to God, the presence of the ‘I Am’ welled up around us. Such an intoxicating heavy beautiful presence where words become a whisper because His ear is so near. Some how I have fallen into His heart and all I can do is call for ‘Daddy’. It is all yours Daddy… Daddy… Daddy…… a ‘portal’ was opening up and it was all about the centre of the cross, the crossing over, the intersection where I in Christ and Christ in me call out to ‘Daddy…’, the source, the true identity of humankind. An exchange took place between us that day, I cannot say what exactly but we met up with Jesus and it was good!
We celebrated this completion with a lush BBQ and it felt full and peaceful. Nothing had been left undone or half done as I truly have peace that I have done this with the One who has done it all anyway. I walk with a ‘Completer’ and a ‘Finisher’….not my way but His Way be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Big thanks to the walkers this time around, Val, Sarah, Debs, Dave, Jane, Lizzie, Kat and Dave. My complete thanks to everyone that has been part of this on the road and off, particularly to Sarah, Sue and Val who have supported me incredibly. Big thanks to Steve and Paul for your inspiration and friendship, to my dear friends in Wales and all who have hosted us along the way. To Lucy, Linda, Annie, Jane, Angela, Debs and Claire, all Key-women.
Jane, Gerry and Ray it was a fab BBQ, Dave and Sue you hosted us so wonderfully in Cobham, I am completely grateful for every encouragement and nod along the way and for anyone that has had the patience to read these ramblings….most people say they don’t understand a word of it… so you are not the only one, LOL!!!
P.S. Whilst getting hitched in Lincoln cathedral, I was instructed to embrace my complete name, so Kathy has become Katherine…if you were wondering!!
P.P.S. Malc and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in *Lincoln’s Inn, WC2, last Saturday and left a little shrine as a sign…a champagne bottle, 2 glasses, one cork and a flyer for a french bell foundary… Lovit!