A Pilgrim Way sets out in a practical way how we can develop an authentic spirituality in our everyday lives and forge a way forward as a renewed and pilgrim people. We learn about the Community of Aidan and Hilda and the wealth of Celtic Spirituality which inspires it.
- Sometimes the author just seems kooky but this book did for me what 'The Rock that is Higher' didn’t Review by Heidi (on GoodReads.com)
It’s about the Community of Aidan and Hilda, centred in Lindisfarne, and following a Way of Life, or a Rule. Most of the book explains the way the Rule works: their ten elements, as well as the three principles.
Sometimes the author, Ray Simpson, just seems kooky. He goes beyond mystic into some almost-pagan-seeming Celtic spirituality that I’m personally not comfortable with. Simpson (and the Community as a whole) clearly have attitudes on sexuality that I’m not comfortable with. (The three principles include ‘purity’, which he describes as being about sexuality, and that the only form of acceptable sexual expression is man-and-woman-in-church-sanctioned-marriage. Personally, I’d prefer to look at “purity” in not exclusively sexual terms, and talk about integrity instead.) Every so often there are words and phrases in the sections on interfaith communication etc that just… rang wrong. Patronising, maybe.
And yet, this book did for me what 'The Rock that is Higher' didn’t. It opened out, challenging me without belittling me; making me think through things I didn’t agree with, without leaving me feeling humiliated. If it wasn’t for the fact that I actually take some of the opening passages of Benedict’s rule (particularly about hermits) quite seriously (it dovetails quite nicely with my approach to corporate worship – an approach I wish I didn’t have, but I *do* and I can’t just *stop* simply because it’s not convenient for me or may not be in the future), I’d take a great deal of this book, and the Rule within it, and see how I could adapt it to my own life.
The other thing this book did for me was to reignite my interest in the idea of community. I’ve got the outline of a major piece of work on that sitting in my GoogleDocs, and in amongst everything else I’m doing (do you ever get the feeling I do too much) I’d really like to start working on that, too. And it will be thanks to A Pilgrim Way that I’m feeling prodded back in that direction. (Posted on 10/01/2013)