After they finished, and a quick tea break, we set off north along the moor to Starbotton about 2 miles away. Once there we crossed the river and headed back south, stopping in a field to have lunch among the sheep. Walking back through Kettlewell, we ended back at Scargill to grab the mini bus for an afternoon in the village of Grassington. Then after a dinner of fish & chips with ratatouille, Tony led a lesson on hand bells followed by a screening of 'The Calendar Girls", which was filmed here locally showing some of the beautiful landscapes we have seen over the past few days!
Mid-exchange reflections by Abigail Cairns and Nora Terrill
It has only been a week and a few days since we've been in England, however it feels like years since we left London. Each day feels like a week, like time has morphed into an alternate universe almost. Reflecting back on when we got here, I don't even feel like the same person. Now I'm not saying that I've done a complete personal 180, but I feel like my world now has shifted, almost like an upward spiral staircase (perhaps St. Paul's Cathedral). With each place we visit, I'm seeing more and more collections of people's livelihoods: their dreams, their vices. As a group we keep saying how we feel like we're in an alternate reality, and to an extent, it is. Virginia and England are a juxtaposition of two very different climates, cultures, and virtues; however there are so many glaring comparisons that you can not ignore. The rolling hills, the rain that feels and smells the same, the sharp similarities of Bradford and Roanoke, but most of all, the biggest similarity I've seen is the wish to create community and peace. YMT does several events for the youth in the DIOSWVA area, to involve young people the Church. In England, there are so many youth programs and fundraisers to keep youth off the street, to create a better town and community. Looking deeper, to me it seems as though both sides are really just aiming to create peace and prosperity. They both want to empower youth to find themselves and their morals, to inspire them to seek change. There may be an entire ocean between us, but that does not stop societal issues, poverty, discrimination, etc. While I've realized that all humans crave comfort and safety, it wasn't until now that I realized the smallest and intricacy of the broad concept of peace. ~ Abigail Cairns
When we arrived in Holme Wood, I immediately felt welcomed and like I was part of the community. Our hosts were so hospitable and welcoming. On our first evening there Gary and Helen took us on a walk around the estate. There, I learned more about Holme Wood and some of the missions of the parish to improve the overall well being of the community in need, even if they don’t attend church. It amazed me how involved in the community St. Christopher’s is. It seemed like everywhere I looked I could see God working through the people of the parish to form a beloved community in Holme Wood. On Sunday, we attended the Connect service at St. Christopher’s. This service was more laid back and interactive than a traditional service. I loved how it made church a more accessible and less daunting community to come into as a stranger. The kindness of the parish was incredible and I could see God working in so many ways through these wonderful people that I got to be with for a week. ~ Nora Terrill