The buildings are all but gone….
(at the remains of St Ninians, Chapel, Bute)
The buildings are easy to miss – overgrown or overbuilt – and too inaccessible for cars and coaches – overlooked by Heritage.
But the spirit that was kindled 1500 years ago lives on in this place, and what a legacy : in time a whole nation of believers, and a Christian Kingdom, island by island, hamlet by town. So we sit among the ruined stones and pray with thankfulness for the Ninian’s of this country, who travelled far from home to live, learn and proclaim the gospel.
And it still goes on – this pilgrim spirit that inspires Christians to search out unvisited corners of our world and bring the stories, the presence of Jesus and the invitation to the Holy Spirit to transform.
At home in Bath and Wells, we continue to appoint ‘pioneer ministers’ and plant churches or ‘fresh expressions’ and some still even promote mission and discipleship in rural and isolated villages, where we understand that ‘place’ is integral to belief.
And when our church buildings close or undergo change of use, the spirit of pilgrimage – what will it look like then? Will it flourish afresh? Will we live up to the promise of our early Christian evangelists?
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