Monday, 15 October 2018

To Be A Pilgrim

Who would true valour see,
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.
Oh the bizarre life of the Pastor's Wife! On Wednesday a boz was delivered to UCF - containing Paddington Bear, who is on a pilgrimage around the churches of the Wessex Synod [our church is joint Baptist/URC so we get included]
He brought his diary and itinerary with him. I tell you, this visitation was worse than the weekend with Rosie's Nursery Bear! If there's an ecclesiastical equivalent of oneupmanship [oneupchurchship?] this is it!** In the previous two dozen stops, the bear was pictured at a funeral, a christening, Christmas specials, a choir event...His duffle coat was festooned with badges. We decided he could just tag along to things and we'd snap a picture or two.
He attended- Tiddlers' Group, HomeGroup [Bible Study - Book of Judges] OAP Lunch Club, Friday Youth Clubs, and Sunday Worship. He investigated the Ferndown Big Questions, stood on a pile of shoeboxes destined for Romania, and inspected cake,trifle and tuckshop. It was a good thing he had wellies, Suinday was exceptionally wet!
I dutifully wrote up his daily diary. I did wonder about making him some pyjamas - some hosts have pictured him sat in bed, fully dressed! But as his hat and suitcase are firmly stitched in place, I decided against it.
Pilgrims in the old days used to sew a scallop shell to their hats. Instead I opted for stitching one of the Walking The Way footprints to the Bear's headgear.
And now he has gone to Three Legged Cross*** - and supposedly to forty other churches before Easter. 
The aim of the exercise is to encourage churches to think about Missional Discipleship - I'm happy to report that UCF already has mission and discipleship high on the agenda - so I hope the bear was happy with what he observed!
**I don't think anyone else has blogged about him yet
*** yes, that really is a place in Dorset


  1. A well travelled bear indeed!
    That hymn takes me straight back to primary school, and the wooden floorboards and smell of plasticene and powder paint. I think we sang it at least once a week.

  2. When I was little, we used to visit my great aunt at West Moors, and 8 always knew we were nearly there when I saw the sign for Three Legged Cross!

  3. Paddington must be exhausted with all this travelling....

  4. a few years ago , i had to drag Boffy Bear to work for my grandson , we posed him in the dock , in the cells and behind the wheel of a G4s prison transporter. I got some really funny looks at school ever after , but they did say take him to work

  5. I am sure Paddington Bear enjoyed his visit with you!


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