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Following The Path God Has Laid For Me

2nd of September 1997

Continued from Page 7
sub-committees and have also become involved in childrens and youth work, helping to run the daily Holiday Club for over 80 children at the beginning of the summer holidays and assisting with weekend and half-term ventures for members of the Church youth groups, who are aged between 10 and 18.
I have attended Christian exhibitions and evangelism seminars and really become enthusiastically involved in the many activities of a Church with a living faith. As a Christian I have become a prison visitor and a member of the chaplaincy Bible study and prayer group at the Mount Prison in Bovingdon.
Initially I was assigned to two prisoners but over the six-month period have been requested to take on two additional
members. One of the men, a Muslim, has been converted to Christianity through attending the prayer meetings and, despite the language difficulty, is determined that he will encourage his wife and children to share the peace and strength he has himself found. I met the other young man through the Monday evening Bible study group. He

is the chapel orderly and is looking to the possibility of eventually being ordained. I recently attended a very inspiring service at the beautiful prison Chapel of Christ the Carpenter where two of the previously mentioned prisoners were baptised. In November last year, feeling that God was leading me to even more involvement, I attended an interview with the Church Mission Society in the hope that I could do some work for them overseas. I did not seem to fit in with what they were looking for. They were very surprised that none of my voluntary work was done locally and also at my long journeys to Chipperfield (which by now had developed into most weekday meetings as well as Sunday services) and asked why I did not work with a Camberley church. After speaking with Angela, we agreed that there was no reason why I could not, and with the help of a friend and neighbour, I was introduced to the vicar of another St Pauls (this time at Camberley). We looked at the possibilities and I felt that I would like to work in an entirely different field and eventually agreed that I would come along to the weekly Thursday coffee mornings to meet and talk to the older ladies who attend and help with the clearing up afterwards. I now do this as often as possible, combining it with their monthly communion service.

When my husband, David, returned from his evening walk excitedly saying he had seen a family of bright yellow birds
with thin sharp beaks and long slender, dark legs and two white tail feathers we all rushed for the bird books.
To our amazement, the only bird that fitted the description was a yellow wagtail, an unusual shy bird of wet meadows and river sides, not wide open arable fields full of rape, where these had been.
I wished I had gone on the last dog walk of the day, too, as we felt they must be just passing through.
I was not going to miss out the next evening though – just in
case! Well these birds certainly had not read any books! They stayed for a t least four days
and each evening delighted us by perching no more than 15 feet away on the tops of the rape plants and making seeping noises to each other!
They are insect eaters and were so close that we could see them catching their food in their slender beaks. There seemed to be a plentiful supply, which kept them in the ‘wrong place for so long.
Things do not always go by the book, and our efforts to make a wildflower meadow where some old apple trees blew down has proved this once again.
I carefully planted good plants of cowslips and oxeye daisies in the very poor soil and have kept to the late haymaking and autumn grazing timetable, as the books say, but this year only three of over 30 plants reappeared and flowered. I think it must have got too dry last summer, but they still come up on
During this time I have also been thinking about, praying and exploring the possibility of joining a convent. I have spent several sessions in Derby at the Convent of the Holy Name. The Mission Sisters there serve God in a variety of ways, offering themselves to him and the outside community through several dimensions including prayer, prison visiting, schools, youth, pastoral care, hospital visiting, care of the disabled and needy people, spiritual guidance, preaching, and overseas work. Their day consists of worshipping God through the Daily Offices, commencing with the 7.45am service of Prime continuing with an 8am Eucharist, a 12 midday Office, 5pm Vespers, 9pm Silence

Dunstable Downs, so maybe they just do not like it here!
Another part of the goat run that we rotovated and re-seeded last year is completely the opposite. It looks a picture just now, full of the delicate white stars of lesser stitchwort, and a few oxeye daisies and yellow horseshoe vetches. All arrived of their own accord and are greatly pleasing the meadow- brown and ringlet butterflies, as well as me! The large patch of stinging nettles at the top of the run had been playing host to masses of small tortoiseshell caterpillars but these have now gone, into chrysalises I hope, to be replaced by swarms of the black spiny caterpillars of the peacock butterflies. Hopefully the commas will be next in line.
Wendy Bathurst
and ending at 9.l5pm with Compline. They invite not only guests of the Sisters, but anyone who seeks to follow the way of Jesus to share with them in their worship, and by offering a life of love and witness and welcoming membership to the Fellowship of the Holy Name.
I will be joining them on a six-month ‘testing of vocation in October as a Postulant before joining the Novitiate. I am told that initially two years is spent learning more about God through prayer, the Daily Office, the Holy Name Community itself and the outside community it serves.
Apart from the six-acre site in Derby, the Order has Houses in Keswick, Nottingham, Oakham, Lambeth and Chester as well as in Lesotho and Zululand.
I would very much welcome your prayers and support as I look to follow the path on which God is leading me.
Gill Phillips

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