Monday, 17 April 2017

Back in Lichfield for a few days
and to be fed spiritually

Back in Lichfield for a few days to relax and recharge my batteries

Patrick Comerford

After a busy Lent, Holy Week and Easter, I am back in Lichfield today for a few days. I arrived early this afternoon after a mid-morning flight to Birmingham, and I am staying in the Hedgehog Vintage Inn, on the northern edges of Lichfield, at the corner of Stafford Road and Cross-in-Hand Lane.

I have stayed many times in the Hedgehog in recent years. Some years ago, shortly before I arrived back in Lichfield, I received an email from the team here that said: ‘Welcome to your new rural retreat.’

It is an insightful description of the way I have benefitted in recent years from my stays at the Hedgehog, with its rural charm and rustic character yet close to Lichfield Cathedral.

Over the next few days, I hope to meet up with some old friends and family members, to enjoy some walks in the countryside between Lichfield and Farewell, by Stowe Pool and Minster Pool or Beacon Park, to stroll along Beacon Street into the Cathedral for some of the daily services, and to visit the chapel in Saint John’s Hospital.

This is a time to be fed spiritually after a busy season that has included 13 services over eight days in six churches. But this is also a time to relax and recharge my batteries in a place that I have seen affectionately as my spiritual home for the past 46 years.

There may even be time this week to visit Comberford, between Lichfield and Tamworth, or the Moat House in Tamworth, or to walk around the Roman ruins at Wall once again.

I am looking forward too to browsing in some of the bookshops and to meals in some of my favourite restaurants.

Tomorrow evening, we are having a big family reunion, with cousins and extended family coming to dinner.

‘Make yourself at home,’ that recent email from the Hedgehog said.

Yes, it is good to be back.

‘Welcome to your new rural retreat’ … the Hedgehog on Stafford Road in Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

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