I went up North of Reading to help a friend move workshops last week. I also went up there to find some solitude and to reflect…so I wasn’t too surprised to find a ‘chapel’ in the campsite I chose to stay at! One hundred yards from the Thames river midway between Oxford and Reading you can find a small inexpensive campsite…with free very hot showers! The site is run on a Christian basis. Turn up, sign the register, count how many days you’ve stayed, and if no one is around to take your money, pop it in an envelope, post it through the office letterbox and off you go.
It was very refreshing to find such ‘honesty’ policies still exist. And as for the ‘chapel’! The camp site offers itself as part of ‘The Quiet Garden Movement’-a simple ministry of hospitality and prayer. The primary vision of the Quiet Garden Movement is to initiate and resource a network of local opportunities for prayer, silence, reflection and the appreciation of beauty; for learning about Christian spirituality and creative expression…and it’s open to all. Quiet Gardens can be found in churches, retreat centres, prisons, hospitals and schools, where it is possible to provide an oasis for contemplation and stillness.
The camp site has a small wooden garden shed, perhaps ten foot by ten foot. It comprises of a pot belly wood stove in the corner, various chairs, plenty of candles, a sort of altar and a superb little retreat open 24/7. The camp site owner apparently often holds a little service at 9 in the morning. I am going back to work there next week. I shall be camping at the site. I shall be visiting the chapel!
Two other things:
1) Saturday September 13th is “Let’s Do It”’s “Clean the UK” day, (google them for details). I intend on cleaning several lay-bys in the Dorset area so anyone who would like to join in drop me a line.
2) I don’t know if I have done the right thing. I think I probably haven’t done the wrong thing and I have done it with no malice. Here’s my latest video. What do you think?!