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Reflections on St Gilles

A group of nine parishioners, joined by an equal number from our sister church at St Giles Cripplegate, made the train ride south to St Gilles du Gard in France in late August to visit the monastery founded by our patron saint. The photos below give a sense of the time we shared together, which combined equal measures of prayer, worship, sightseeing and relaxation, including a memorable afternoon swimming in the river beneath the ancient Pont du Gard.

The overwhelming feeling I brought home from these days away was one of encouragement. There is unquestionable risk in throwing a bunch of people together and hoping that they will get along. But travelling in a shared spirit of Christian fellowship, there was none of the petty strife that can sometimes accompany group travel. We quickly bonded into a peaceable community. Each of us, I believe, was able to enjoy a time to deepening friendships, learning about Giles and refocusing our common faith.

The principal thanks for the success of the journey must go to Fr Jack Noble at St Giles Cripplegate and to our Rector, Tom, who together coordinated the trip. I encourage any who were unable to go on this trip to ask the pilgrims among us about the experience and when the next opportunity arises - as it certainly will - take the plunge!

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