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Returned now from a fascinating Free to Believe conference, Radical Faith, at The Hayes, Swanwick.  The sessions included:

The Bible can be bad,

The Bible can be sad

The Bible can be funny, all from Trevor Dennis

Radical God from Martin Camroux

Radical Jesus from John Churcher

Radical Communities from Kate Gray

Worship sessions were led by Fiona Bennet

I include two images of the spectacular view over the lake in all its autumn splendour, from our bedroom window.

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Only just back from Iona we are now off to Derbyshire to the Free to Believe Conference Radical Faith.  That makes four conferences this autumn as well as the Christian Resources Exhibition.  Back on Sunday for Remembrance service at Stowmarket URC.  Then four operas in Norwich, sheer pleasure.  Never a dull moment!

Home in Hadleigh

We are back home after a fairly strenuous journey from Lockerbie.  All is well however and we managed to avoid the heavy rain which was forecast.  However we were astonished by the change of temperature as we came south, from below freezing to 15-16 degrees!

Here are some of the decorative tributes to the fallen in WW1 found in the Hadleigh churches, St.Mary’s, the Row chapel and the United Reformed Church.

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Oban to Lockerbie

We had a spectacular ride through the Highlands, around Glasgow and then through the Southern Uplands to Lockerbie in Dumfriesshire.

We were able to stop at St.Conan’s Kirk an amazing and bizarre church built in an assortment of styles during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

For more information see  ……   https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/lochawe/stconans/index.html

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The following are some of the lovely views we enjoyed through the Highlands and of Stirling Castle.

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Psalms on Iona

John Bell led an excellent course on the Psalms over four days.  There were 36 participants, about three quarters of them came from the USA, much to our surprise.   Each morning we worshipped in the Abbey, although we actually stayed in the St.Columba Hotel.  The accommodation at the Abbey and in the Mac Centre is currently being upgraded.

Today we caught the Iona Ferry, crossed Mull by car and then took the ferry back to Oban.  Tomorrow we return home via Lockerbie, then back to Suffolk.

Birthday on Iona

I had a good birthday with a fabulous sunrise and a gloriously sunny day.  The morning service in the Abbey was a Communion Service at which I was privileged to toll the bell to call folk to worship.     In the afternoon John Bell led the first session on the Psalms.  At dinner my dessert had a lighted candle and the company sang “Happy birthday to you…”

 

Arrived on Iona

After an early breakfast we caught the 10.00am ferry to Craignure on Mull.  There was snow on the mountains of Mull for the first time this year.  Pleasant crossing and then an interesting and very scenic drive across Mull to Fionphort for the little Iona ferry at 12.15.  We knew it would be tight and in the end we only just caught it as we had to park the car a short distance away and then handle our luggage on to the ferry.  The people from the car in front ended up behind us, so we were not last on.  A car from the hotel was waiting for us and we were in time for a quick lunch!  The weather is glorious and the brilliant sunshine really warm in spite of fierce wind.  I understand it will still be good for my birthday tomorrow.

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The Isle of Mull ferry approaching Oban with the first snow on the mountains of Mull.

Crossing Mull with hazards on the single track road.

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First view of Iona and the Abbey from Mull.