Monday, 11 October 2021

Time out to reflect and
to pray in Lichfield
after a long absence

The Hedgehog in Lichfield … time out for reflection and country walks (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2021)

Patrick Comerford

I am taking a three-day break in Lichfield, staying in the Hedgehog Vintage Inn at the junction of Stafford Road and Cross in Hand Lane. The pandemic travel restrictions mean I have not been in England since early last year (2020), and I have been missing Lichfield for a long time.

I caught an early-morning Ryanair flight from Dublin to Birmingham, and I was in Lichfield in time for breakfast.

During these few days, I plan to attend the daily services in Lichfield Cathedral, and to take advantage of the unseasonably good weather for some time enjoying country walks in the roads and lanes behind the Hedgehog, enjoying the walk along Beacon Street from the Hedgehog into the Cathedral, and strolling around the Cathedral Close.

One of the first places I visited this morning was the Chapel of Saint John’s Hospital, which played a foundational role in my spiritual life late on a summer afternoon 50 years ago in 1971.

This is time to reflect on a spiritual journey over the last half century, and to give thanks for the journey that began in the chapel of Saint John’s and in Lichfield Cathedral.

I plan to continue my prayer diary on my blog each morning, and there should be some time for reading and reflection too.

But this is time out too, and I hope to enjoy some meals out, browse in some bookshops and return to some of my favourite buildings after a long absence.

Hopefully, too, I may even bump into some old friends.

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