News & Articles Resource

The articles below are from editions of the Imp Sheet pre October 2014

All the thirsty people                                                 John 4:6-10 (njb) 

Jesus, tired by the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, 'Give me something to drink.' His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, 'You are a Jew. How is it that you ask me, a Samaritan, for something to drink?'— Jews, of course, do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus replied to her: 'If you only knew what God is offering and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me something to drink," you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you living water.' 

Nowadays we hear quite a lot about groups of Christians marching around the edge of a town or part of a city 'claiming it for the Lord’. One hopes that they get involved with the centre of such areas aswell. A friend of mine was asked to run a house for homeless men in the East End of London when he was still very young. Each night he set off in the dark to seek out places where these men (many of them alcoholics) settled for the night. Sometimes he was so fright­ened that he turned round and ran home again. He was only a part-time coward, though. He persisted, and the project thrived. He took Jesus to people who might not have met him otherwise. 

Here we see Jesus taking himself into an area that Jews normally avoided like the plague. He did not walk round it; he walked into it. 

Having dispatched the disciples (why did it take twelve men to collect the groceries?), he then defied convention even further by not only speaking to a Samaritan woman, but actually asking her for a drink. Like the homeless men that my friend visited on their own ground, she was curious about the motivation for this unusual behaviour. The answer in both cases was the same—Jesus had come, bringing the water of life. 

It is not easy to go into places that are unfamiliar or threatening in some way, but if we want to follow Jesus, that is what will happen. It may be the people next door, it may be the pub down the road, it may be deepest Borneo, but if he calls us, we either go—or disobey. 

A prayer

Lord, am I avoiding anyone or anywhere that you want me to visit?
I need courage.
Please give it to me when I need it, so that I can take you to those who need living water. 

From ‘When You Walk’ by Adrian Plass

Contemplative, Creative And Intercessory Prayer

I recently had an opportunity to spend a day at a Hidden House of Prayer gathering. This is a national gathering of people drawn to the practice of contemplative, creative and intercessory prayer in their own homes. 

I especially picked up on 3 suggestions. 

1, When you donate to a food bank pray that God may be able to intervene in the recipients situation. 

2, Night Prayer - There is no longer enough nuns/monks for this practice to continue. There are also a lot of people who can't sleep through the night and and if you are one of these can you use this opportunity for pray for others as well as yourself?

We were told of a time when a gentleman spent the night as a guest in a house. The next morning the host enquired if the guest had slept well? The guest had slept well and enquired if the host had also had a good night? The host however had not had a good night and very really did but because he knew that somewhere there was someone praying it prevented him from doing anything stupid (i.e. suicide).

3, A lady was knitting a scarf for a friend who had cancer and singing the Lord's Prayer in Arabic has she knitted. She found she was able to put her friends name into the prayer (instead of 'give us our daily bread' she would sing 'give Jane her daily bread'). If you knit for needy people can you pray for the recipient as you knit? 

You may already be practising these but if not how about giving it a go? 
Susanne Wills

If you want to know more about Hidden House of Prayer go to

Planned Giving

Do you want to ensure that everyone who wants to experience Cursillo and that very special weekend, can do so? 

Think back to the time you made your Cursillo.

Remember the love you received, and how your heart was full of joy.How this changed your life, and the benefits which you continue to get from that weekend. How we all thank God that we were led to Cursillo. Cursillo continues to give benefits to more and more people.

It flourishes by the love of God, but like a plant, needs feeding in order to continue to grow. Cursillo needs continual feeding! Like every organization it needs money!

Have you ever wondered how it is funded?

It is only after making your Cursillo that you realize there is no subscription, and only donations which are freely given from time to time help to fund it. The fact is that Cursillo manages to continue to change people’s lives by virtue of what we ourselves donate and the grace of God. Its survival depends on us.

The cost of holding a weekend at Edward King House is been around £6000.

The payments received towards the cost of the weekend – approx. £3000.

This leaves a shortfall of at least £3,000 per weekend! Costs will escalate from now on, as Edward King House (Palace Hotel) is operated as a hotel and we will need to investigate alternative venues. Even by increasing the charges to Pilgrims there is still a huge shortfall. A significant increase to participants is not really an option if we want the weekend to be available to all.

We are pleased with the wide variety of donations at our events and Ultreyas. But we need to draw everyone’s attention to the necessity for regular giving, possibly by bankers order. This will enable us to build up a positive financial framework, so that we can then concentrate on serving God, and to give more people that love and joy which we received from Cursillo. 

How can each one of us help?

By making regular (monthly/quarterly/or annually) donations through banker’s order.

By sending a donation by cheque to David Simcox (Treasurer) at 16, Tothby Meadows, Alford, LN130EH. 

By gift aiding any of the above if you are a taxpayer. For every pound that is given by a standard rate taxpayer, a further 25p can be claimed by us from the Inland Revenue. 

What price do we put on faith?

Think carefully about what you may be able to afford to give, and remember that all donations are appreciated – remember the story of the Widows Mite.

Do please give the matter your careful and prayerful consideration. 

If you decide to make a regular donation via bankers order, please contact our treasurer David Simcox – see above, and he will help you fill in the necessary forms. 

We are sure that all Cursillistas  will respond and make a difference, so that our finances are on a firm, sound footing, as is our love for God and for one another.

To watch people blossom at a Cursillo Weekend is a real privilege, and to observe how pilgrims continue to grow in their enthusiasm to spread God’s message of love wherever they find themselves is truly wonderful.

Please help to ensure that Cursillo can be there for others, so that they can all receive the benefits and become the people God wants them to be.

Remember what it has done for you. 

Yours in Christ Lincoln Diocesan Cursillo Secretariat

Lincoln Cursillo A.G.M. 2014

 29th March, 2014

28 Cursillistas attended the AGM in the Folkingham Village Hall This was preceded by Eucharist in St Andrews and a bring and share lunch which was enjoyed by all.  David Simcox was elected as the new treasurer and Angela Simcox the new 4th Day Rep. The post of Publicity rep was not filled and is now vacant. Afterwards Liz gave a ‘thought for the day’ on needing downtime in our lives. This was based on her dog Zoe’s Puppy Tales entitled ‘Downtime’.

Lay Director Report

It seems much longer ago that I took over from Piers as Lay Director for Lincoln Diocesan Cursillo! You may remember how nervous I was about taking on the post, especially because I find it so hard to think, and speak, coherently, on my feet! However, I have had a good team around me, and Praise God – much has happened over the last year. It is good that we should take stock.

At last year’s AGM I tried to outline some of the things that God had placed on my heart concerning Cursillo. Chiefly was the conviction that the members of our present Cursillo community within the diocese needed to be built up and re-enthused, spiritually.  Numbers at Ultreyas, Group Reunions and the summer and winter events had begun to dwindle. Nor had we attracted enough new Pilgrims to proceed with #30 that was scheduled for May 2013. I felt we were not being“successful” in this because we were not a strong body to draw people into. Well, thanks to a terrific retreat weekend, led by our Spiritual Director David, I think we are now much more vibrant. When we come together we are reminded and inspired to be “Faithful, Confident and Joyful,” to quote our Diocesan Bishop, Christopher! Our summer event at Caythorpe and winter event at The Old Palaces, also, were better attended, and who can forget the introductory Myers Briggs session , that helped us understand a little more about where we come from individually, and also to understand why some people are so very different from ourselves! 

My journeys around the diocese to visit the various reunion groups have been a blessing to me, and I hope, too, to those I visited. It was good to spend time with each group, different as they are, and seeing the various styles of living out the 4th Day.  I am aware of some groups struggling still, but I feel encouraged that most groups now have re-established a regular slot each month to meet together. We are working at present to possibly establish a new group based on the Sleaford area.

And #30 is going ahead this May! I must admit that when it was decided at Secretariat in January that we should go forward in faith with this weekend, despite at that stage having only 4 Pilgrims, I had a bit of a panic because I had not opened that particular file for 10 months! However, a new team has come together, and we now have 7 Pilgrims booked in. Plenty of room for more! Being Lay Rector as well as Lay Director is complicated, but do-able, with God’s strength and support. I would like to say how much I have I appreciated all the personal palanca I have received for both roles.

Once we reach May 5th, and the mantle of Lay Rector has been handed on, I will be able to concentrate on the next steps of the journey that I envisage for our Cursillo community in this diocese. We need to address our safe-guarding responsibilities, and also, I feel, to untangle the differences between the Servant Community and the Secretariat within the Movement.  We look forward to another Summer event this June, and further Myers Briggs sessions. Please keep in touch with what is happening through your Group Convenor or through the website. We wouldn’t want anyone to miss out. We are here to support each other on our Christian journey!

So, keep on keeping on, my dear friends in Christ!

Ultreya! Liz x

Secretary’s Report

When I started preparing for this meeting by drawing up the list of present Secretariat members, I was a little taken aback to realise that I will be standing down next year – it seems such a very short time since I sat here in March 2012 wondering if I’d be able to get through the next three years without making too much of a hash of things….. well there’s still time for that of course! Many thanks to my fellow Secretariat members who have gently pointed out the glaring mistakes in my paperwork that have cropped up from time to time.

The Secretariat has met four times this year at Bailgate Methodist Church, latterly on a weekday evening as this has been easier for the current membership to attend than a Saturday daytime.

There has been a lot to discuss during our meetings, most notably making small but hopefully beneficial changes to the What Next? event, to the Pilgrim’s Guide, tweaking job descriptions for 4th Day Rep and Group Convenors and wrestling with the challenges of accommodation and facilities at The Old Palace for the residential Retreat in November and of course Lincoln #30 this coming May, though most of the latter especially, fell on Liz’ shoulders, bless her.

One of the most enjoyable items I was asked to minute was the discussion on Lincoln #30 and the unanimous decision to go forward in faith, with a push on publicity and prayer!  

Ultreya! Judith 

Puppy Tales:  Down-time

Last time I told you about my hydro-therapy sessions. They are still going well, and I am still having lots of fun. Amy makes me work very hard, and it makes me tired. I have a shower before I go in the water to stimulate my muscles and warm them up a bit ready for work. Then afterwards I have another shower and then follows a lovely “down-time.” Amy wraps me in my towel and we have a lovely cuddle while she massages my muscles, and my bad hip joint is having a “pulse” sent through it by a machine. It’s a curious but soothing sensation, and gradually I feel my eyes drooping as I fully relax. Usually I end up lying down and snoozing! Then I have a wonderful nap all the way home in the car! 

Mum says it is important for people to have down-time too. If they fly round all the time and never relax they tend to get exhausted and stressed. They need time to relax and give themselves a chance to recharge their batteries. Even after going to a church service or event she says they need time out to reflect on what God has been saying to them and to respond. She says it is easy to rush on with the next thing without applying what they have heard to their own lives. It is good to spend time with God and allow him to speak to them personally. It is a process of “letting go” so that they can let God work in their lives.

So here’s to down-time! It is not just an indulgence! 

Five Finger Prayer

We were separated from God by sin (Romans 3:23). But because Jesus paid for our sin on the cross we now “have access by one Spirit to the Father,” (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:18). Those who receive Jesus as their Saviour become “children of God” (John1:12).

So even though God is “great and mighty in power” (Psalm 147:4), we are His children and He is always thinking of us, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand!” (Psalm 139:17-18)

He is always ready to bend His ear to hear our prayers and so we’re encouraged to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews4:16).

The Five Finger Prayer is a simple guide we can use when we pray.
1) Your Thumb is nearest to you.

So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C.S. Lewis once said “sweet duty.” 

While praying for our loved ones is easy the Bible also tells us to pray for our enemies who, in a negative way, are also near us.

“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)

And again, “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it.” (1 Peter 3:9).

2) The next finger is the Pointing Finger.

The pointing finger reminds us of those who instruct so pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers. These men and women have great influence on society and we should pray that they display and teach godly principles in all they do.

3) The next finger is the Tallest Finger.

Our tallest finger reminds us of those who are in charge. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God’s guidance.

When the king of Nineveh prayed to God he saved his nation from destruction (Jonah 3:6-10). We should pray that our decision makers repent and seek God’s will as they lead us.

4) The fourth finger is our Ring Finger.

The ring finger is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them. The Bible tells us that all who believe in Christ are “one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12) and that we are to “bear one another burdens”. We should “pray for one another,” James 5:16 tells us that, because “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”.

Praying for others is a way of serving those around us and serving is what gives us purpose to life. “If you love Me,” Jesus said, “feed My sheep.” Praying for those in need is one way to feed Christ’s sheep.

5) And lastly comes our Little Finger.

The smallest finger of all. This is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, “The least shall be the greatest among you.”

Your Pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself.

By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

When praying for ourselves we should first confess our sins because sin breaks fellowship with God and we don’t want to be out of fellowship with Him. No matter how badly we’ve sin take heart and know that “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).

Then we should give thanks for all the blessings we have been given, “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pray your vows to the Most High” (Psalm 50:14).And finally we lay out what is on our heart, the good and the bad, and we pray that God’s will be done in our life. The Father loves you very much and will always do what is best for you. Trust Him and He will lead you and cause all things to work together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28). 

From Gillian Padley who found this in a Newsletter at a friend's house.

Getting excited 
             John 20:15-17 (rsv) 
Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?' Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and l will take him away. 'Jesus said to her, 'Mary.' She turned and said to him in Hebrew, 'Rab-bo'ni!' (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, 'Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father, but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. ‘ 

I have seen films, pictures and mimes of this wonderful encounter,the second and most staggering of Mary's 'gob-smackers'. In mostof these presentations Jesus is standing like some product of thetaxidermist's art, stiffly gesturing away a remarkably restrained Mary who has attempted to touch him in an elegant, saint-like manner. If it really happened like that let's all give up and go and become frog-worshippers. G.K. Chesterton made the point that believers and non-believers alike have great problems about genuinely accepting the fact that 'he became man'. The divine ordinariness of Jesus should be one of our greatest comforts. Instead, it's a serious stum­bling block to many, perhaps because it brings the reality of God so close that we are forced to respond from the heart, rather than from bits of our minds. 

Do you really believe that Jesus was not smiling broadly when heasked Mary why she was crying and who she was looking for? Do youreally think that Mary didn’t throw herself at her beloved friend and master after he said her name in a way that was specially his? And do you not think he would have chucklingly retreated with both arms extended as he warned her that she must not touch him because he had not yet ascended to his Father ('not cooked yet' as a small friend put it)? 

How we need some of this Mary-style excitement in the modernChurch, the kind of excitement that follows real meetings with thisreal Jesus who is more down-to-earth than many of his followers. 

Can you see her running and leaping, her eyes now wet with tears of joy, on her way to tell the disciples?

 A prayer
We want to be excited, Lord. 
From ‘When You Walk’ by Adrian Plass

Address by Bishop Christopher at the Winter Event 
by Angela Simcox 

It was in the difficult afternoon slot, after a delicious meal and contented chat that Bishop Christopher had to inspire us about discipleship. This he did. He affirmed us as laity, not only within the Cursillo movement, but also as members of Christ’s church. He set the scene with a short background to the position of laity as against the ordained ministry, from the era when the church was about Bishops, priests and deacons up to today with the primacy of the laity having been affirmed. We were reminded that if we were serious about being a follower of Christ we don’t have to be ordained, only be prepared to be disciples’ of Christ. 

‘Confident and steadfast through the power of God’s grace, these humble yet great builders of the Kingdom of God in history.’   (Document of Vatican 11) 

Disciples need to be resourced. It was pointed out how important it is to base our faith on knowledge of the Bible and to be part of the church in all its incompleteness and untidiness (the body of Christ). There is a general feeling that we are what we eat so therefore disciples must be sacrament centred, nourishing ourselves on the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Coming into the presence of God through daily prayer is essential made easier if we have developed a rule of life to keep us from straying.  

Christians have a desire to serve our Lord. It doesn’t have to be in a crowd- pulling manner. It can be as important and as simple as bringing, in thought, a petition for a person in need to the communion rail, giving it to God as your gift along with the wise men. 

Cursillo is a vital part of what this diocese can offer the laity. Equipped with resources , encouragement and affirmation, we can go out in the confidence of the Holy Spirit and be disciples for Christ.

A New Commandment             John 13:34-35 (nrsv)
 'I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.' 

How would the Church change if this commandment were to be generally obeyed? Would such a new beginning be welcomed? I have my doubts. 

The problem, you see, is that Jesus doesn't say, 'Love one anoth­er as you have always loved one another in the past.' He says, 'Love one another just as I have loved you.' This is a very tall order indeed, not least because the love that Jesus showed to his disciples was a (to them) bewilderingly mixed bag of uncompromisingly tough straight-talking, overwhelming compassion, and a quite extraordi­nary willingness to trust them with powers and tasks that they can't possibly have understood. In other words, the principle of only doing what he saw his Father doing was applied as rigorously by Jesus to individual relationships as to his broader ministry. 

How many of us would be ready to abandon items of our per­sonal agenda because the love of God for the person before us demanded it? Would I? Would you? My heart sinks whenever anoth­er major issue arises in the life of the Church, not because I don't think we should confront issues, but because there will always be a little bunch of single-issue fanatics at both ends of the argument whose voices are louder and more strident than the saner argu­ments of those who have put Jesus first in their lives, and are pre­pared to be wrong if necessary.

The acid test will never change. 

Jesus himself appears in the flesh, right in front of me, and says, 'Look, I see what you're getting at, Adrian, but, as it happens, you're wrong.'

My two possible responses are:
'Nevertheless, I think I have to pursue this point—I've thought it through very carefully.'
Or: 'Okay, Lord, you know best, I'll follow you.' 

If I find that the first answer is the one I would give, then I have no business commenting on matters of faith and life at all. The busi­ness of loving as Jesus loved demands identification with the spirit of personal sacrifice that, in the end, sent him to the cross.

Tough, isn't it? 

Lord, teach us how to love you and each other. Heal your Church. 
From ‘When You Walk’ by Adrian Plass

Cursillo Indian style by Jacqui Morton 

During my visit to South India in November I was thrilled to attend a Christmas Ultreya. Revd Anand, a priest who comes from S India and is currently vicar of a parish in Battersea, together with his wife Jessie, also a priest, took Cursillo to the Diocese of Tirunelveli in about 1995, so they are about the same age as Lincoln!  For the last few years they have had no weekends, and just met annually for a Christmas Ultreya.  The event took place on a school campus, and the cursillistas, who are mostly clergy and their wives, arrived from around the dioceses of Tirunelveli and Tuticorin.  It was due to start at 6pm but, as so often in Tamil Nadu, the electricity was off, so we had to wait for the power to come on!  The event began, after an opening prayer and the singing of a Christmas Carol, with the group reunion.  I don’t know whether my presence was a source of difficulty but our group certainly struggled with the discussions, although other groups seemed to get stuck in.  They had the same reunion cards – I had been given an English one, but of course theirs were in Tamil.  People were arriving throughout the evening, eventually about 50 attended, including several children.  Gradually the groups broke up as people wandered about to speak to friends in other groups. The witness talk followed, later translated for me as being about someone who was able to offer comfort to an anxious family at a hospital.  There was a general invitation to respond, and the microphone was handed around until someone agreed to speak!There were then some notices, and I spoke about Cursillo in Lincoln and about the National event in 2011.  Things then deteriorated again into chaos until the Bishop of Tirunelveli stepped in.  I think the suggestion had been made that they should have another weekend but the clergy were claiming they could not get away from their parishes.  However the Bishop said ‘go for it’ – or words to that effect! And a date and venue were fixed for the last weekend in April 2014 at Courtallam.  People were asked to volunteer to staff and a team emerged – Alleluia!  Apparently it will be up to the team to find the pilgrims.  Then it was decided that they should have monthly Ultreyas in order to plan the weekend, and a date was fixed for December.  The Lord was certainly at work that night. Each cursillista had been asked to bring a gift so a Tombola style draw followed.  Then we went into an adjoining room for a meal.  Not a ‘bring-and-share, but the inevitable rice and curry sauce followed by tea (with sugar!) supplied by a local restaurant.  I spoke to one of the spiritual advisors for the forthcoming weekend, and they will send me a list for palanca – though I guess the wake-up and clausura will be out of the question!They told me that Cursillo gives the clergy and lay people the opportunity to mix and relax together in a way that is not usually possible.  The Bishop certainly seemed relaxed at the meeting.  It was a real privilege to be there.  

Prayer for mum
Written on the morning of the death of Rev. Barbara Hancock by her son Stephen.

Call ahead to the angels and let them know -

A faithful servant approaches your gates

Ask them to prepare for her a place at the table of her Lord

in the presence of all those she has ever loved

May her eyes behold His grace and glory

May He call her by her name

May she drink from the living waters of the river of eternal life

in heaven as she did on earth

Quench, oh Lord, her pilgrim's thirst and may the cup

of her loyal heart overflow with kindness and with joy 
Stephen Hancock

hobo poet

Reflection by Angela Simcox on the November Retreat

Cursillo retreats are always occasions that require much reflection and reaction. This last weekend (1-3rd Nov) no less. What a weekend! What loving fellow pilgrims! What amazing insights given to us by our SD, David. Thank you everyone. I want to share just one of the many experiences I had. This was during the agape gathering, a Eucharist (Lord's supper) shared early in the second evening when I was feeling comfortable with those around me, knowing they loved the Lord as I do. The 'meal' was enacted with very few words, in such contrast to the standard Sunday service. Words can sometimes get in the way and here they were not needed.  I felt personally torn apart as David tore the loaf - Jesus giving His Body for us. This depth of feeling however didn't prepare me for the shock as the wine (Christ's blood) was poured out for each one of us, full to the brim and overflowing, spilling down the white cloth, not stopping until the whole content of the bottle had been  squeezed dry. It hit me, Jesus didn't just spill a small amount of his blood taking some of my sins, He emptied Himself, down to the last drop taking every scrap of my sins from me. He loves me/us so much He willingly, longingly gave the whole of Himself. Can I do the same?


The weekend started when Liz and I arrived by train at Wakefield Station.  We walked through the centre of the city asking night club bouncers the way to the Travel Lodge.  Passing the cathedral which was obviously in the throes of rehearsal – well lit with the singing booming of “Great is thy faithfulness”.  Arriving at the Travel Lodge we met up with many Lincoln Cursillistas and had wine and nibbles in one of the bedrooms. Up early on Saturday we all went to Wetherspoons for breakfast joining many other Cursillistas from various parts of the country.  We made our way to a very, very warm welcome at the cathedral.  Being given a Celtic-type cross as a lovely piece of palanca, we looked around the stalls then took our seats ready for the day to start.  From a personal point of view, this was a very special time as I read through the programmes of the day’s events.  My father had come from the not-too-far-away town of Morley and while looking through the hymn list saw that the hymn leading the procession later was to be “Onward Christian Soldiers” being played by the Horbury Brass Band – the words being written in nearby Horbury itself. Not only that the worship music was played by a gospel group from Gildersome.  At the end of the day I had a chance to talk to some of the group’s members, one of whom was the rector of the church where my grandparents are buried in the churchyard.  The address and witness talk were very interesting and several members of the cathedral’s clergy were Cursillistas. We had lunch (several others treated ourselves to a McDonald’s!).  Then I decided to have a sit in the cathedral and listen to more music whilst the procession was on.  There was more praising in the afternoon then all too soon it was time to finish. At 5:00 I met my cousin Pauline and we had a drink and a catch-up.  She then joined us for the ceilidh which was held in the newly-refurbished nave of the cathedral.  Pie and peas were served halfway through the evening.  During the evening I had asked Pauline, as she lives locally, if she recognised any of the Wakefield Cursillistas – no she didn’t but later in the evening a lady came up and introduced herself to us both – what a shock, it was only her ex sister-in-law! The day was over and time to return to the Travel Lodge – very tired. Up again Sunday to return to Wetherspoons!  Then on to Eucharist at the cathedral which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  After the service the Dean asked regular members of the congregation to speak to someone they didn’t know at coffee after the service.  At coffee time which was held in the café/shop I bought a wooden cross which had been made out of the old pews by inmates of Wakefield Prison Back to the Travel Lodge to collect our bags and say our cheerios and catch the train home.  A truly uplifting weekend – rather like going on a Cursillo weekend. Ultreya!Gillian Padley

Quiet moments by John Pollard

The production of the Imp Sheet which now takes place just after the Secretariat meeting was delayed as I was away on a sailing holiday on the Norfolk Broads. On my own in an 18’ open boat that’s older than me. It has a large single sail and a cover that at night is put over the boom to form a tent to sleep under.  Most of the day is spent tacking up and down the rivers and broads dodging the sometimes very large cruisers that creep up on you and want to go past. The vast majority are also on holiday and are very tolerant of your presence and wait for you to signal that they may pass.  A lot of your time is spent just being busy with your neighbour.

On several mornings I was away very early and was now sailing alone with just a slight breeze slowly moving the wisps of morning mist that cling to the surface of the water. You have a hint as to the direction of the wind, if you can call it that.  There is the quack of a duck, the plop from a feeding fish or the gentle flap of the wings from a passing heron. But all is well.  It’s just you. You are waiting for that faint brush across the face from the wind as it increases its pace, for a small ripple to spread across the river and for the sound of water gentle passing under the boat. These are the quiet moments. When the mind is not troubled by the world about you. You are just living for the moment without any effort. Just being quiet, listening and waiting. There can be no moments greater then this when you are so close to the world about you that you become a part of it.  When you are so close that there is nothing separating you from its creator.

ARE YOU LISTENING? – by Max Lucado

Everyone who asks will receive, everyone who searches will find –MATTHEW 7:8  

Once there was a man who dared God to speak: Burn the bush like you did for Moses, God – and I will follow. Collapse the walls like you did for Joshua, God –and I will fight. Still the waves like you did on Galilee God. And I will listen. 

And so the man sat by a bush, near a wall, close to the sea and waited for God to speak. 

And God heard the man, so God answered. He sent fire, not for a bush but for the church. He brought down a wall, not of brick but of sin. He stilled a storm, not of the sea, but of a soul. 

And God waited for the man to respond. And he waited, and waited. But because the man was looking at bushes, not hearts; bricks and not lives, seas and not souls, he decided that God had done nothing. Finally he looked to God and asked, “Have You lost your power?”

And God looked at him and said “Have you lost your hearing?”

Extract from Max Lucado. From the BACC Pages. Spring 2013.

Time Bank, from Lynne Smith

I attended the Lincoln 29 Cursillo in May 2012 and my life has not been the same since.  When Angela and Heather, my sponsors, talked to me about Cursillo and asked me if I would like to go, I agreed readily. As the weekend drew nearer I got a serious case of the jitters. I was going on my own and began to feel panicky about sharing a room with a stranger and , as a naturally quiet person, doubted my ability to fit in with a group of  people who I believed would be far more confident and extrovert than I could ever hope to be!  As the day dawned I actually picked up the phone to say I had mysteriously broken both my legs and could not possibly attend! As I did so Angela put a card through the door to wish me well and say everyone would be holding me in their prayers over the weekend.  What else could I do but point the car in the direction of Lincoln, take a deep breath and set off for, what turned out to be, the experience of a life time.

From being greeted with a wonderful smile and warm words of welcome as soon as I stepped out of the car, to the final goodbyes and promises to keep in touch, it was the most incredible, life affirming and enhancing, inspirational, moving,  challenging, thought- provoking  and exciting time of my life.

I have worked in different areas of social care for many years and have felt increasingly uncomfortable and conflicted about the ways in which we often connect with people who require support and care at different times in their lives. The lack of time and resources that can lead to care that is not person centered and can diminish and belittle by not recognizing, and being able to respond to, the importance of dignity, individual life stories and the absolute need to look at, and really see, the person in times of distress, despair and confusion. I had come to see that the time when we are most in need of help and support can also be the time when we find it the hardest to make that known. I knew that somehow there must be a way of connecting those of us are marginalized, isolated, lonely in a way that enhances rather than diminishes us as people. Something that put everyone on an equal footing and allowed people to recognize their skills and talents and make a contribution and be valued for it.

All these thoughts had been whirring around in my head for some considerable time, often relentlessly, but seemed to have nowhere to go. The love that we were held in during the weekend shifted things for me. The shackles that had kept me in some dark places started to loosen. My heart began to open, my thoughts became clearer and I started to see a way forward. As I was driving to work one morning, soon after the weekend, I had a moment of great clarity and Emailed David McCormick with my thoughts as soon as I could. David’s response was so positive and encouraging that I began to put ideas on paper about a project that could meet people’s needs in an inclusive and respectful way. In time I shared these ideas with my local Reunion Group and had an equally inspiring reaction. This then took me to the next step, which was to approach the Grimsby based charity Foresight with my ideas and proposals. They thought the project had merit and supported me to put in a bid for funding. Lloyds TSB awarded us a staggering £120,000, £40,000 a year for three years, to develop and run a time banking project which encourages and supports people to share skills, time and friendship.   Foresight are the host organisation and I have an office base with them and I am covered by all their policies and procedures and insurances. I left my previous job on the 27th March this year and began managing the project on 2nd April. I feel extremely privileged to be doing what I am doing and know that none of this would have happened without  Cursillo. I give thanks for that every day. I am truly blessed.  Lynne Smith

To down load the pamphlet above for distributing to family, friends and those around you click on: Time Bank.pdf

Life after Delivery

In a mother's womb were two babies. One asked the other: "Do you believe in life after delivery?" 

The other replies, "why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later."

"Nonsense," says the other. "There is no life after delivery. What would that life be?" 

"I don't know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths." 

The other says "This is absurd! Walking is impossible. And eat with our mouths? Ridiculous. The umbilical cord supplies nutrition. Life after delivery is to be excluded. The umbilical cord is too short." 

"I think there is something and maybe it's different than it is here." 

The other replies, "No one has ever come back from there. Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery it is nothing but darkness and anxiety and it takes us nowhere." 

"Well, I don't know," says the other, "but certainly we will see mother and she will take care of us." 

"Mother??" You believe in mother? Where is she now?"

"She is all around us. It is in her that we live. Without her there would not be this world." 

"I don't see her, so it's only logical that she doesn't exist." 

To which the other replied, "sometimes when you're in silence you can hear her, you can perceive her. I believe there is a reality after delivery and we are here to prepare ourselves for that reality...."

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