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 2018

Dear Friends and Family.

Easter greetings to everyone, and the warmth and life of God’s Spirit to you all.  At last the weather has caught up with the liturgical ordo. Deo Gratias!

Admin first:  just in case you haven’t been told yet, May 25th is GDPR Compliance Day.  And aren’t we all rejoicing with gladness!  On that day the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes enforceable which means that it is no longer acceptable to maintain a “default” data base of contact details.  Over the years, many of you who are interested in the eremitical life have requested that I add your details to my mailing list for newsletters;  others have been joined by default – via information requests, customer orders etc.  From May 25th I am only permitted to contact those folk who have made a specific request to be included.  As I do not have records of how each of you originally signed up, the only thing to do at this point is to start afresh.  So, if you would like to be contacted occasionally with news of hermitage life, please use this link Contact request.  Please make sure that the “from” line contains the email address you would like to be contacted on.  

Having said all that, there are other changes afoot which might temper your response.  Following on from my neuro difficulties in the autumn, I spent most of Lent in Sheffield Royal Hallamshire Hospital (Centre of Excellence for neuro stuff) undergoing investigative procedures.  The culmination and highlight of my stay was an end-of-term academic forum where a “difficult case” is presented to all the best minds – students, post grads, practitioners and consultants – to be prodded like a prize pig!  My eminent-professor-consultant wheeled me down to the lecture hall with all the apparent pride and pleasure of a beloved nephew escorting his maiden aunt on a long-anticipated beach outing! Much probing, poking and discussion ensued and test results “prepared earlier” were interrogated.  Eventually, I was spun around to face the Big Reveal.  The good news:  not one of the neuro-nasties!  Hoorah!  It would appear that my ongoing difficulties are probably due to a rare confluence of a historically compromised neural network, an over-excitable auto-immune system, and a rather novel side effect of the radio therapy treatment from 2015 (Holmes Adie plus, RA Mono Neuritis Multiplex, RT Brachial Plexopathy for those who like the technical stuff).  This is such an unusual combo that there isn’t really a precedent, nor a prognosis; instead, a suggestion that I make myself more readily available to the Hallamshire team for ongoing monitoring and therapy …

Which brings me to the changes.  With most of my family and many long-standing friends (Hi there!) in the Yorkshire & Midlands regions, and on the advice of my doctors, it is with some sadness that I have decided to leave Lincolnshire behind and remove St Cuthbert’s House to Sheffield.  

I will still be a hermit.  In fact, without the need to maintain so active a web presence as was previously necessary for reasons of livelihood, it is likely that I will be able to live more quietly within the city than I have ever managed in my rural retreat.  I will continue hosting my website for now – I know it is a valued resource for people interested in eremitism – but updates, such as this, may be less frequent.  As I am no longer bound by trade regulations (I am no longer trading!), I will not be putting my new postal address into the public domain. I am looking forward to living as a private citizen again.

Holding all this in mind, I am aware that for some of you, this might well be the last opportunity I have to thank you for your support over the last 17 years.  I can still remember moving-in day at North Owersby, throwing the carpets out of the bedroom windows even whilst the removal men were manoeuvring my furniture up the stairs.  These have been such happy days, months, years, but they wouldn’t have been possible without the support, custom, enthusiasm and affection which you have all shown towards me.  Thank you so very much.

And for your prayers.  Please be assured you will continue to be in mine.

Rachel (Hermit of the Diocese of Nottingham*)

*There is some uncertainty as to whether I will continue as a Hermit-of-the-Diocese-of-Nottingham-resident-in-Hallam, or whether my allegiance will transfer directly to the Diocese of Hallam.  Unsurprisingly the procedural books are a little sparse on the matter.