Eden Wild Goose
Inspired by an ancient way
The St Cuthbert’s Well can be found on the banks of the River Eden. He was a 7th Century bishop and pastor from Lindisfarne whose area included Cumbria. In 685AD he visited Carlisle and a 'local monastery' which could well be in Wetheral, 'And did those feet in ancient times walk... here?'
We invited Cameron Butland (Carlisle Diocesan Spirituality Advisor and Bishop's Chaplain) to speak to the questions below and offer us some thoughts as we explore our foundational values.
Video: 'Saints and Kingdoms before Cuthbert' (5 minutes)
Talk 1: ‘How does St Cuthbert inspire EWG?’ (23 minutes)
Talk2: ‘How does Celtic Spiritualty inspire EWG?’ (23 minutes)
Video: St Cuthbert’s Well (7minutes)
Audio: Bede on St Cuthbert (2 minutes) Text below
Audio 'The love of Cuthbert' (7 minutes)
Video: Eden Wild Goose activity so far (8 minutes)
Cuthbert’s Christian Celtic values
There are several foundational themes in the talks and video which can be summarised as:
Prayer as relationship
Open hearted hospitality and meeting
Care, compassion and justice
One with creation, each other and God
These can be at the heart of our Eden Wild Goose values.
Responses to the talks
A group engaged with Cameron Butland's talks 1 and 2 to discussed how Eden Wild Goose could be inspired by these ancient ways. This is the summary of the responses.
Conversation with God (Prayer) It is good to base our EWG in prayer. Like Brother Lawrence we can pray anywhere and anytime. Prayer is about listening as well as talking.
Following Jesus (Discipleship) A relationship with Jesus is vital: this will bring on the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Celtic Spirituality is interesting to explore for our context, in some ways we do not have the need for building for our spirituality.
Sharing our faith (Witness) There is the need for dedication to, and dependence on God for mission.
Creation Nature (Environment) This theme was picked up several times. It is a key part of EWG. Someone said ‘We are to care for it and repair it’. The Two books of revelation were noted (Big book: Nature - Little book: Written word) We can learn from nature and the Bible.
Care (Community involvement) EWG with Celtic foundations needs to serve the community at the point of need, supporting activities such as the Foodbank. The theme of mutual flourishing came through the discussions. We were struck by Cuthbert being prepared to go more than half way to meet people, stepping out of comfort zone.
The love of Cuthbert (audio above)
Cuthbert frequently went forth from the monastery sometimes on horseback but more often on foot; he came to the neighbouring villages and preached the way of truth, just as Boisil had been accustomed to do in his time.
Now it was the custom amongst the English people at that time, when a clerk or priest came to the village, for all to gather at his command to hear the Word, gladly listening to what was said. So great was Cuthbert’s eloquence, so keen his desire to drive home what he had begun to teach, so bright the light of his angelic countenance, that none of those present would presume to hide from him the secrets of their hearts.
Now he used especially to make for those places and preach in those villages that were far away on steep and rugged mountains, which others dreaded to visit and whose poverty and ignorance kept other teachers away. Giving himself up gladly to this devoted labour, he attended to their instruction with such industry that he would leave the monastery and often not return home for a whole week and even occasionally for a whole month; but he would linger among the hill folk, calling them to heavenly things both by the words he said and by his virtuous deeds.
The story as told by Bede in Book 4, Chapter 27 of ‘The Ecclesiastical History of the English People’ translated by Bertram Colgrave, Oxford World’s Classics, OUP, 2008