What does the future hold? How will it unfold? What stories will be told in years to come?
We began moving into our new green holme (meaning ‘hill beside the river’) on Saturday 24th November 2012 with much help from an extremely generous local family – our second move in three months. Our first night was Sunday 25th. Despite 6.5 acres of, at present, somewhat damp land, the cottage is small but the main living area is very warm. The horse and hens are discovering the lie of the land. The existing stone two-roomed outbuilding we have ear-marked as a future dwelling but in the meantime will be used as store and study/oratory. As yet neither are in a fit-for-purpose state. With the gift of one very generous donor we were able to offer the asking price for the almost new professional cooker that the previous owners were selling. We see this as investment for the hospitality we very much hope will find a home here.
Our reception from the local community has been wonderful to behold: it seems we are surrounded by friends. Several of them came to the carol service on our first Sunday at St Cuthbert’s Church, Bewcastle, for the first time in years; such encouragement!
Weather in the first couple of weeks was glorious. Temperatures were rarely above freezing and went down to -10 degrees C! Crisp clear skies, golden light radiant on the fells, joy in the raw beauty of the wild hills.
Apart from works needed to the cottage, our plan is to develop a straw-bale barn that will act as the gathering centre for the House of Prayer; a place of hospitality, music and prayer, food and study, washing and simple accommodation. So we will need to find the funds for this project. There is a four-berth caravan that offers a little more comfort already on site during warmer weather.
So we are in, not yet settled, but about to make a start – a green holme of prayer and life.