NEW for 2019! Reading St Cuthbert’s Way
To celebrate the publication of ‘Cuthbert of Farne’ I am organising a series of readings at venues on or close to St Cuthbert’s Way. At each venue I will be reading sections of the novel directly related to the location and speaking briefly about Cuthbert’s life, while at Old Melrose I’ll be joined by John Henderson for a visit to the site of St Cuthbert’s first monastery; the site is not normally open to the public. Hope to see you at one of these!
VENUES DATES / TIMES
Unit 4 The Cornucopia Room, 4 Towerdykeside, Hawick TD9 9EA Sunday May 12 at 6pm, £5 + wine
Main Street Bookshop, St Boswells, TD6 0AT 01835 824087 Tuesday May 28 at 7pm, £10 + wine
Old Melrose Tea Rooms, TD6 9DF 01289 331876, talk and guided walk Sunday June 16 from 2 to 4, free
Cheviot Centre, Wooler NE71 6BL; library event Friday June 28 at 10.30, £4 + coffee
St Cuthbert’s Cave, weather permitting Sunday June 30 11.30 – 1pm, free
St Cuthbert’s Centre, Holy Island tbc
In The Footsteps Tours: background
A particularly enjoyable part of researching my Lindisfarne novels has been visiting locations in Northumberland, Durham and the Scottish Borders associated with St Cuthbert. Many of these places are not only fascinating historically but have great spiritual presence. The Footsteps Tours grew out of a desire to share the experience of these places with others.
Four day residential:
The original Footsteps Tour. Two nights on Lindisfarne, starting with a pilgrimage walk across the sands, and with visits to St Cuthbert’s Cave and Inner Farne. From there to St Paul’s Church at Jarrow, monastery of Cuthbert’s first biographer, the Venerable Bede, and Jarrow Hall, home to the Bede’s World museum. Two nights in Durham, with visits to the Cathedral and Open Treasure exhibition, and to Chester-le-Street, home to the Cuthbert Community for 90 years before the move to Durham.
Cuthbert’s early life. We visit the Leader Valley where he grew up, and Channelkirk, said to be the site of his childhood home. We then turn back to Melrose, to view the site of Old Mailrhos where Cuthbert entered his first monastery at the age of seventeen.
Future tours may vary! If you are interested in joining a Footsteps Tour, please get in touch.
TS Eliot writes about pilgrimage like this in Little Gidding:
If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same; you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity,
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead; the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
Is England and nowhere. Never and always.
Four Quartets by TS Eliot