During the past week I have been very privileged to join the ladies of the Channel Islands District. Rising early on Wednesday morning I caught the train to Gatwick airport to fly to Guernsey where I was met by Pam Gidney our Channel Islands Forum representative.
Guernsey has a fascinating history and has many ancient monuments dating back to circa 4000 BC. Pictured above Pam is standing in ‘Le Creux ès Faïes’ one of the many passage graves built in the Neolithic period and in use until the Bronze Age.
On the Wednesday evening I was introduced to and shared a meal (pictured above)with the team of ladies responsible for organising the District event the following day. On Thursday again I shared a meal, wonderful fellowship and a few tales of Bolivia with more than 50 ladies from the islands of Guernsey, Jersey and Sark.
When Pam and I had first spoken about my visit to the Channel Islands District and knowing about Pam’s history of ‘fog bound’ flights I had joking said that we would need to pray for an Indian summer. Amazingly the weather was absolutely glorious throughout my stay enabling Pam and I to visit much of the island including one of the smallest chapels in the world.
Built above a grotto constructed by Brother Deodat in 1914 to resemble the grotto of Our Lady at Lourdes the chapel, also built by Brother Deodat, originally measured 9ft x 6ft. In 1923 the chapel was visited by the Bishop of Portsmouth who complained it was too small – some say he was too fat to get through the door – so Brother Deodat rebuilt it to it’s current size of 16ft x 9ft. He then started to collect shells and broken pottery to decorate the walls. Sadly with the outbreak of World War 11 Brother Deodat never completed his work but others continued to decorate the chapel and restoration is still under way.
Friday morning dawned, another beautiful day so Pam and I decided to catch the ferry over to Herm. As we rounded the harbour wall we saw a frenzy of gulls and dolphins fishing. Arriving at Herm and climbing the steps from the quay we walked through the village and paused to pray in the small village Chapei. Continuing along a track called ‘Le Dos’ or ‘spine’ of the island we joined the coastal path to shell island (pictured above) before making our way back to the quay, ferry, airport – and reality. My flight home was delayed by an hour because of fog at Gatwick!!
I feel really blessed to have had the opportunity to share time and wonderful hospitality with Pam, to meet and share fellowship with the ladies of the Channel Islands and to visit such a beautiful part of God’s creation.