Dear Companions and friends,

It seems a long time since I wrote to you all.

As I said in January there is now quite a lot more activity for much fewer Brethren. The work is more exciting than ever but it does mean that we are sometimes under pressure and I am very slow at typing.

As you will all know we (Shavaun, Marc and myself) completed the sponsored run for Tariro on 26th January. It was a very enjoyable morning and actually quite an easy 10k. The great news is that we raised £8,300. People looking at the My Donate page might be surprised by this because that page only shows £6477.50. That figure is of donations made online but cash and cheques received plus gift aid accounts for a further £1734.25. This will bring a lot of hope to young Zimbabweans but as you will know further tragedy and distress has been caused by storm and flooding. The My Donate account remains open until 26th April and anyone who would still like to contribute to the sponsored run can do so by clicking here.
It would be great if we could reach £8,500.

Those of you who have been coming to the Mirfield auctions will be familiar with my brother George. I have another brother – Ivan – who was present at the last auction. We are the survivors of a family of eight (seven boys and one girl) so it was great for the three of us to be together again and the auction was such fun. Ivan now lives in France and after the Run I spent a few days with him. During those few days a lot of snow fell but it was lovely sitting bay a log fire with good conversation a lot of good food and drink and quite a lot of dozing. I couldn’t stay long as I had to come home for a short chapter called to welcome our new Visitor.

As most of you know I am very keen on film and in the past few months I have had the opportunity of using that media in retreats, conferences and Mirfield Centre talks in a way that has never been possible during my time in the Community. So one day I rewarded myself by taking an evening off to see the new Mary Poppins film and I was thrilled by it. The opening credits were shown over exquisite scenes of London accompanied by a song – Underneath the Lovely London Sky. I remembered how much London meant to me when I was a student at King’s on the Strand and I felt a lump in my throat. I think that the disciples must have felt a bit like that when they knew they were going up to the great and revered city of Jerusalem. Of course things went wrong when they got there but it is the place where Jesus worked the world’s salvation and ever since the holy city has had special place in the hearts of believers. Jesus our Saviour is our Jerusalem the place where we meet God but whenever we go into a church, or on pilgrimage or into the closet of our own heart there we can say ‘I was glad when they said unto me…’

Since writing all of the above we have had a meeting of the Council of the Companions of CR (6th April). It was an interesting and helpful meeting in which a couple of members of the Society of the Resurrection were invited along to help us in our thinking. The main themes were encouraging more Companions to become Committee members, our participation in the festival weekend and organising the Walsingham Pilgrimage a study week. The possibility of a joint CCR and SR pilgrimage for 2020 was raised and we will publish details as soon as we have established its feasibility. We hope that a member of the Companions will give an address on the quiet afternoon (5th July) before the festival day and we would hope to invite Companions to consider ways in which they could help in the work of running CCR. We also began discussion on how we could enable and help Companions to come together for Worship and fellowship in the regions. So watch this space.

One last thing. Many people have been asking me about another auction. There is always a part of me that wants to say – yes. But there are practical difficulties. The greatest of these is space. I have nowhere to store large items and associated with that I don’t have the time or energy to move furniture up and down the four floors of HR. There could be an auction if some person or persons were to offer something really stunning or if enough collectables (stamps, coins, medals, memorabilia and jewellery) came my way. Two of the auctions were made possible because we were asked to dispose of the contents of houses.

So a blessed Holy week and a joyous Easter,
John CR