Not waiting – David Mangles

I hate waiting. I always arrive at the station 2 minutes before the train leaves so I don’t have to wait. Annie and I flew to Glasgow on Saturday to meet Rival Star at Ardrossan. Having been told of the slight delay in Pwllheli, we booked two nights in an apartment overlooking the harbour to await the arrival of the boat. But we have not been waiting. We have instead been seeking out the Celtic saints and endeavouring to learn from them and from our experiences. On Sunday we set off for Bute in search of St Ninian, but ended up in Cumbrae and found friends, old and new. We made our way to the cathedral (the smallest in Britain) where we shared in a Eucharist led by an old friend of Annie’s (much to the surprise of both of them). I was moved to tears by the singing of Ps139 by the reader there (I’m usually unmoved by chanting!). Having enjoyed fellowship with the small congregation there, we headed into town to hire bicycles. Ten miles round the island with the sea on one side and wildflowers on both sides (orchids, irises, roses etc) we just enjoyed God’s beautiful creation. 

The next day we headed North to Bute again; just missing the ferry at Wemyss Bay, we spent an hour (not waiting) in the most beautiful railway station in the UK, before crossing to Rothesay. Having dropped our bags at a lovely B&B with stunning sea views, we set off to find St Blane’s. Two hours hot walking around the coast and up the glen brought us to St Blane’s Church (see photo), a place of beautiful tranquility, site of a Celtic kil (cell) or monastery. Over our meal that evening, we discussed what these cells were and how these saints used them to spread the Gospel. We recognized that in our churches we need to share our lives more closely, being open and accountable with each other if we are to reach others in our community.

While we have not been waiting, we have been exploring, enjoying, discovering, learning and praying.