Thought for the week

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THE next Archbishop of Canterbury says Christianity came to this country through the north east and reminds people that next year the Lindisfarne Gospels will be brought back to their home region for their 1400th anniversary celebrations.

Travel writer William Dalrymple says the Lindisfarne Gospels is ‘One of the world’s greatest works of art in book form’. The Sunday Times declares it is ‘The book that made Britain’. It is truly a multi-cultural treasure: Anglo-Saxon, Irish, Roman and Egyptian influences are woven together. The ‘carpet pages’ may draw their inspiration from the orient, where Muslims developed their prayer mats.

Donna Worthington, a teacher in Cumbria, has written a theatre production about the Gospels which she hopes will be invited to perform in community halls and churches next year. It is called ‘The Wake’. Alongside the theatre production would be workshops for all ages and abilities based on the model of the monastic scriptorium, explored through poetry, storytelling, and meditation.

People come to the marvellous digital version of the Gospels at Holy Island’s Lindisfarne Centre and are deeply moved. Some of us are relating the full page portraits of the Four Gospel writers to the four archetypes that men’s spirituality movements focus on – the warrior, shaper, lover and king. Excitement is in the air.

RAY SIMPSON, Founding Guardian, The Community of Aidan and Hilda

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