S T   C U T H B E R T ’ S  H O U S E Hermitage of the Diocese of Nottingham               

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Easter 2009

Easter joy to one & all.  From where I am sitting, the mists are hanging heavy over the fields; not great for enhancing the sun-freckled features, but excellent conditions for the plum blossom to set – I can already smell the damson jam.   Bring out your jam jars!

So SCH is gearing up for another busy summer.  After wandering the length & the breadth of the county last year in search of the elusive rural rupee, this year I am staying closer to home & exhibiting in Lincoln city centre with the Country Crafts Association & Lincoln BIG Artists’ Market.  There are also a couple of Open Days here, at the hermitage, courtesy of Art on the Map – a directory of Lincolnshire artists & artisans.  This is a rare opportunity to come & browse my work, prod the vegetables, flatter the cats,  & tell me how it all ought to be done, whilst sitting with a cool drink under the apple trees in the garden.   Please check the details of all these events on my website as I am only participating in a selection of the available dates.

Also on my reports & photos page I have finally succeeded in posting a short video produced by BBC Look North about my life in the hermitage, plus a selection of photos taking you through the seasons in the gardens & workshop.  Not many pictures of me (I know, I know!)  - but if you are at all entertained by domestic wildlife & growing vegetables, you might be transitorily engaged.  

A new venture!  It has been something of an experiment this springtime to earn a little as a “speaker” at a couple of local church & women’s groups.  Although I have always been aware that my hermitage lifestyle is a tad unusual, I had not anticipated quite such informed interest. The groups I have met have been delightfully welcoming & highly perceptive in their questioning.  That the hermit exists in each of us has always been my creed;  that she should be able to express herself quite so eruditely, even on emergence, has been a revelation.  I am truly grateful for the insights offered by these occasions - & for the tea & cakes!   

The Redemptorists have also been doing sterling work this year keeping me fed & watered through the publication of some of my writing in their Sunday newsletters for both adults and children.  Trying to offer in words a taste of the hermitage life, and having that infuse my reflections on the scriptures has been both a challenge and a delight.  Many thanks to all concerned at RP Books – and for the kind feedback from those of you who have enjoyed my snippets.  My particular thanks to the person (who shall remain unnamed) who has returned my pieces, in their published form, corrected.  Insights abound.

& finally - although it is not final at all,  it is in fact the very beginning - can I wish you all the happiest & holiest of Easters.  That the liturgical seasons should so closely match the natural seasons of the year is attributable to the rare genius of the Church.  That the liturgical or natural seasons should happen at all is beyond any genius.  May God who gives us new life in Christ, rise in you & in all those you meet during this Day.

Easter blessings

Rachel   (Hermit of the Diocese of Nottingham)