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November Diary Article by Ruth Pyke October 21, 2016

Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.
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I will not be growing a moustache for Movember! Suddenly every month has a charitable focus, a sponsored challenge. So we were exhorted to Go Sober for October and men are challenged to grow a moustache for Movember – both initiatives to raise money for cancer charities and awareness. People seem to love a challenge – whether it’s the Herts and Beds Historic Churches bike ride raising money for our village churches, moonlight hikes or abseiling from church towers! There are any number of activities which both raise money and challenge our personal fitness or courage.

Recently I began the Thames Path – a walk of 180 miles along the Thames to the source. We will do the walk in stages, discovering new stories along the way and remembering key events in our lives which centre along the Thames Valley, the places which used to be home and where Richard and I grew up.

A friend has recently completed a pilgrimage to Canterbury, travelling on foot like the famous Canterbury pilgrims. Others are walking the famous Camino, or way, to Santiago de Compostela. There may be an opportunity next year for pilgrims to travel to the Holy Land from our local churches. However we travel, a pilgrimage challenges the body and the mind. We have time to think and new stories to discover. It can also be a time when our thoughts turn towards the deeper questions of life and death.

November itself is a pilgrimage, as we travel towards the beginning of Advent. In that pilgrimage too there are times when God can come especially close. Whether we are remembering the great saints of the church or those whom we loved and knew, or standing in silence and respect as we remember those we never knew but who went to war in the hope of winning freedom for our people. Those moments of remembering offer a chance for God’s love to steal into our hearts.

During November some have set themselves the challenge to explore the Christian faith through a Confirmation group meeting at the Rectory. There is space for more! So what is your challenge this November? Will it challenge your inner being as well as your personal stamina; your faith as well as your strength? Will it give you time to remember and time to move on?

May God bless you in your challenges this November and always.

Ruth