I am writing a daily blog (Monday to Friday)  on preparing spiritually and physically

to lead a Pilgrimage of 100 miles in September.

for details of the Pilgrimage, click on the dropdown Cotswold Pilgrimage bar at the top of this page 





God gave me grapes, great

clusters of them

then He picked them and took them away

naturally I sulked

it hardly pays to be a branch

I muttered

and wouldn’t you know it my next grapes

were bitter

God said you can keep them

so they went to the birds

Pruning time

and the  sweetness of the Lord came

pouring in from the Vine

and I said

Father take this branch it’s all yours

He said back to work son

give me the grapes

I don’t know where that came from: I wrote the words in my prayer journal when I was at university nearly 40 years ago.  It’s unattributed.

But the words come back to me every so often.

This morning.

I am running late, lots to do – mostly phone calls which I dislike intensely as I prefer to write, to ponder, choose the right words.  Shopping. Looking after a husband with pleurisy. Walking. The gym. Someone to see, coming for Spiritual Direction. Writing. This.


So the bitterness came creeping.

And I knew I needed the sweetness of the Lord to come pouring in.

* * * *

Our curate was priested on Sunday evening. The Bishop came.

I wore my beautiful white silk stole, made and embroidered for me by a dear friend, now no longer with us.

On it she sewed a pattern of vine branches and grapes; of the Spirit descending like a dove; and these words:


And the sweetness of the Lord poured in from the Vine.

Father take this branch it is all yours.

My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


That’s my prayer for today:

Pour in your sweetness Lord

             in to me

            and out to others

Take my branch Lord – and keep it firmly attached to the Vine.

Here are the grapes

            you gave me in the first place

They are yours

            to use as and when You will

In the name of the Father

            and of the Son

            and of the Holy Spirit


Top of embroidery just  visible on my stole!