Travelling together

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From the Manse....

Catching the bus from the Market Square in Wantage to Didcot Parkway station in early August, was the beginning of a journey that took us safely through to Rogny in France, where we picked up our barge for a week long bike and barge holiday exploring the Loire Valley.

Alighting in Didcot, we then travelled by train, tube, (overnight stop to see Becca in London) bus, tube, Eurostar and finally arriving at our destination by coach.

The journeys were different in length and comfort, sometimes jammed packed and with no ventilation, sometime with the luxury of air conditioning. The scenery we passed was ever changing; the sounds, sights and smells different and varied.

Our party on this guided tour comprised those from the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Wales, and the Netherlands along with Liz and I.

It was a great holiday, having never done anything like this before, we weren't too sure what to expect, but the trip surpassed our expectations — we made new friends, saw fantastic countryside, enjoyed cycling in a country that treats those on two wheels with far more courtesy and respect than over here and of course, sampled the delights of French food and hospitality.

Our journey from Wantage to the barge was hassle and incident free. However, our cycling was at times interrupted by a number of flat tyres, including my bike and one occasion a serious fault that resulted in one of our party not being able to continue their ride that day.

At the end of the week Aire, our tour guide who rode with us and expertly guided us day by day, said that he would always remember our group for the fact that he was constantly hearing laughter and conversation behind him as we cycled along.

Our lives are of course made up of countless journeys, all contained within the one journey that is common to us all. Destinations are important and we seek to arrive safely but so too is the way in which we travel.

As we come to the end of one Connexional year and begin a new journey this month, may the way we travel be as important to us as where we are heading, may it be marked by the signs of the fruits of God's spirit. As we travel together side by side, let our experience be shot through with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Here's to the next stage of our journey! With love and God Bless,

Keith

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