Wednesday, September 30, 2015

England Day 10 - Stonehenge, and a Service

 Lots and Lots of Probablys


if you have ever been there, you will have heard them too. The 'probably' explanations about how Stonehenge got there. These are just a few:
  • Merlin had something to do with it
  • the Stones were magical and partially weightless
  • the Druids moved the stones all by themselves from west Wales although they weighed thousands of pounds
  • aliens from outer space schlepped the stones into place by the art of levitation (this was stated mostly tongue-in-cheek)
  • slaves did it all 
  • everybody just pitched in and worked together in an early effort at team building. This would have taken a cast of thousands simply years to accomplish
We heard all of this and more today, and at the end of every explanation was the word 'probably'. I had heard it all 25 years ago, and nothing had changed.

The hideous Stonehenge visitor centre
I turned my hand-held lecture guide off, and then had a great time walking. 1.5 miles from the hideous visitor centre out to the stones; the pathway around several 'barrows' not far from the site; the circular pathway around the stones themselves. It didn't even matter that there were scads of other tourists there - I loved it anyway. Blue skies, a brisk breeze, cows and sheep galore standing around watching all the people go by with strange looking devices stuck to their ears.

The Salisbury Plain itself is just gorgeous. You really should go there. It will give you a bit of comfort to see that the earth is not dangerously overcrowded. At least not yet. Looks like we still have some space left!

Salisbury Cathedral

The Stonehenge Tour was a good one, but nothing as exciting as what happened after it. The bus dropped me off downtown near the imposing cathedral, and I entered there. For three and a half hours I wandered it through and through, had a delightful free tour, then staying on for the Evensong service at 5:30. It was all very meaningful, like different pieces of a puzzle that you can put together successfully and without frustration. 

At one point during the tour, a lovely vicar stepped up to the podium (you should just see that podium!) and welcomed all visitors to join in a prayer together. He shared that Christ is the reason for the cathedral, and that it was right and proper to thank Him. And then, he did. We all soon joined him together in the Lord's Prayer, and then continued our touring. It was the sweetest thing.

There was a hush as a small crowd approached for Evensong. The bells began, and rang on and on calling the faithful to come. We were invited to sit near to the choir, so I had a lovely view of the singers. None were adult, and all were girls. They were directed by a splendid elder chorister, reminding me of the famous Barchester Towers (remember Mr. Harding?). It was lovely. 

The Bishop's Seat!

Within Salisbury Cathedral the mission of Christ is clear and unforgotten. In fact, within all of the cathedrals I have visited the message comes through steadfastly. The epistle lesson tonight said it rather well, I thought:

"Whatever you do, in word or deed do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Put on compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and patience, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you. And above all these, put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts - and be thankful."
-Colossians 3:12 - 15

What else can a person possibly need?

See you along the Way!
the SconeLady

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