I suppose that my next post should rightfully have been about my Return from Spain to England. I have, indeed, returned home and my pilgrimage is playing itself out, mostly in my internal world now. I have some things I want to share on this blog, but I am giving myself plenty of time to think them through before I let them go public. I learned years ago that it can be ever so important to sit with our lessons and insights before sharing them with the world, and that is what I am doing now. But please do stay tuned!
In the meantime, my connection to both the Camino and to walking in general continues to deepen. I had a marvelous day out in London last Saturday, attending a Returned Pilgrims Day with the Confraternity of St. James. The Confraternity is the London-based centre for information and resources pertaining to all the Camino routes, including the Camino Inglés which we walked. (They issued the passport which I carried to identify myself as a pilgrim and which I had stamped wherever we stopped along the way – my most important souvenir!)
The event was held in St James Garlickhythe, a jewel of a church not far from Mansion House within the City of London. I have to admit that I’d never been heard of it before, but was charmed from the moment I spotted it down the road. Built in 1723 by Sir Christopher Wren, it is clearly cherished by its caretakers and congregation, and undoubtedly by visitors from far and wide.
While our Pilgrim’s Day was not about the church, per se, it felt welcoming with its abundance of cockleshells and other symbols that are both familiar and dear.
It is, I learned, a musical church. Committed to the Book of Common Prayer, it is famed for its bells and choral services. We didn’t have music on Saturday, but we felt the spirit of the church, and I suspect that most of us will eventually find our way back. I know I will. It was a day for Returned Pilgrims in many senses.