Thursday, 16 June 2011

Interesting ...

... from 1778 ... a "Dog Catcher"!
 The jaws at the top were clamped round the dog's neck and he was then escorted off the premises!  It appears that in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the farmers would bring their sheepdogs with them to the service.  In those days dogs would not have worn collars and therefore it could be difficult to get a hold on them if they wandered away from their masters ... so ... the need for something that would clamp round the neck to remove them from the sanctuary!
 This object is now behind glass as an historic treasure from that era.  I'd never seen anything like it before and had to ask about its function.
 It is kept in the church at Llanedwen on Anglesea where our retreat ended with a Eucharist.  Wonderful little place without electricity or water ... set on a hill overlooking the Menai Straits ... it is in a most idyllic setting and to have the service by candlelight was a beautiful experience.
The parishioners all came to the special service to welcome us, their guests.  Normally there's not a Thursday afternoon Holy Communion ... but the place was packed with seventeen of us, some other visitors in the area and the local members.
 The candelabra were all filled and lit so added the necessary extra light as the stained glass filtered the sunlight coming into the building.
 My challenging bit was to read from the Authorized Version by the light of two candles ... the print was small so the first three verses of Isaiah 61 were read fairly slowly!  A good passage.
 Afterwards the view captivated us ... we did remark that it might have been more authentic and in our time period if the farmers had been using scythes ... and horses ... !
 Our guest facilitator at the retreat was Leslie J Francis ... the Canon Theologian at Bangor Cathedral and in charge of the church here at Llanedwen.  Such a wise and scholarly man and the creator of Teddy Horsley!
 So the three days in Snodonia ended and we left behind our mountain and the sheep so that we might return on the evening boat to Dublin and so to home!
 Bursts of sunlight gave us a glimpse of the beauty of the hills ... and the rain kept them fresh and green!
 It also lay heavily on the flowers around the Lodge and this iris seems to have caught more than its fair share!
 It and the neighbouring daisies were standing in a pool of sunlight this morning just as we moved from breakfast into the main morning session.
So ... now we're home ... back into work first thing in the morning with a concert at a Nursing Home followed by a couple of hospital visits ... Hopefully the refreshment and the things learned will continue to enrich my life and the work of the parish here.  Taking time out like this with Bishop Alan and one of the Pastoral Care Team means that we're being looked after and given time to reflect and pray in beautiful surroundings, with good food and sleep ... a complete care package so that we can grow in our faith.
It was a good time.


Crusin' with Karen said...

What a wonderful place to get away to for a spiritual retreat! Karen

Crusin' with Karen said...

Elizabeth...I signed in here with my home email so you may not recognize me...Karen Hurd aka hwy61 on 365 :-)

Have a great today!!!!

Rev Elizabeth said...

Hi Karen! Lovely to receive your comments! Really wet in Ireland today. Off soon to collect Eliot from kennels where he's been while I've been on retreat.