As we've been here in blogosphere for nearly five years now I think that new readers - who might have stumbled upon us in the mistaken impression that Greenpatches is all about midwifery - are owed an explanation. So, here for your edification, we have...'Greenpatches - Five Things You Wished You'd Always Known.'1. Greenpatches began in February 2007 when I accepted the Methodist Church's No New Shoes Lenten challenge to Live Simply. I was following a module on environmental issues and vocation with St John's College Nottingham at the time and taking my first tentative steps into simplicity with the Anglican Franciscan Third Order ; No New Shoes was a useful way of helping me to remain accountable. Have I succeeded? Who knows...2. TSSF, Third Order Society of St Francis part of the Anglican Franciscan family is a dispersed community whose members try to live a life of simplicity, love, joy and service after the manner of their founding Saints Francis and Claire - in the midst of their everyday lives. I was professed into TSSF in Spring 2009 after three years of discernment and formation. For the moment I'm convening our local small group. (For the uninitiated, each larger area is divided into three or four smaller groups; much of everyday tertiary life and community takes place at local level). I'm not sure what Francis would have made of me; to be honest, I'm more Claire than Francis, but so far they've not thrown me out.3. For any confused cyclists, Mr GP has in the past taken part in La Marmotte, the LEL, Kelloggs Tour of Ireland and many other competitive events. I blogged a fair bit about him in the early days as well as co-authoring his own blog for a while, which might account for why you ended up here in the first place!4. The metaphor of the search for God as journey has always spoken to me and has taken me to places I'd neither have imagined nor had the confidence to go. Moving churches gave me valuable space and time for reflection which in turn led me to some wonderful experiences of formation in spirituality and spiritual direction skills. The journey continues...5. Look here to learn about some of our experiences of pilgrimage. Since I made that decision to move, Mr GP and I have walked along sections of the Way of St James, the Wayfarers Walk and, finally last year a wonderful 200 + mile trek through the North of England and the Western Scottish Highlands to Iona.So there you have it. Greenpatches in a nutshell...or a rucksack. Whether you're a confused cyclist, midwife, methodist, tertiary, oblate or other religious (of whatever denomination), pilgrim or spiritual searcher, I hope you'll enjoy reading along with me for the next five years.
A Vintage 'Greenpatch' from my old blog - Greenpatches - Five Things You Wished You'd Always Known, February 2012