Julian of Norwich

all shall be well

In preparation for my visit to Norwich, I had downloaded a modernized version of Revelations of Divine Love onto my Kindle.  I read much of it sitting in her cell in the church which is now named after her.

There were eight larger-than-lifesize panels depicting some of the “showings” in the chapel at Ditchingham where the East Anglian Ministerial Training Course had study weekends and summer schools.  The crown of thorns and Christ’s suffering on the cross are even more gruesome in Julian’s words than in the paintings, which did not prepare me for her joyful reflections.  “Our Protector” (the word the editors use instead of “Lord”) “laughs with gladness at our prayers.”  Our sin, she believes, cannot hurt God because God never changes.  It can hurt us, but also can be the occasion of the great joy of being forgiven.

Edith Cavell Trail

cavell trail marker

After 4 days on the Norfolk Coast Path, I arrived in Norwich and discovered foot and cycle paths in honour of Edith Cavell.  Since my stall as a canon was in her memory, I had to follow it! From her grave and memorials at Norwich Cathedral, I followed a main road out of town to a succession of parkland, woodland and marshland, over a bypass and along country lanes to the village of Swardestone where her father was rector.

cavell and soldier cathedral gate

She wrote, the night before her execution: “Standing before God and eternity I realise that patriotism is not enough; I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.”