Sanctuary 2

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In November 2013 I went up to Holy Island and mentioned it in a small blog post. It has been difficult to try and get some peace at the moment. I am living next to a house that’s having an extension. This has included regular use of a circular saw through concrete. The irony of the day was that I passed two properties on the island having similar work done and the workmen using that dreaded saw.

Last week I had to sit on Waldridge Fell for nearly two hours just to try and stop the terrible headache I had because of the work that has been done. Looking for peace and quiet has been really difficult. The summer holidays aren’t the quietest of times.

So I will go back in the autumn or spring months and try and get some sort of sanctuary from noise and myself.

Good Friday

I have had an interesting day. I decided that I would have a look down at the service in the market place. This is a christian service of witness which takes place each year on good friday. It is begins with a  walk through the main shopping street and ends in the market place. I used to take part in this which I was a church goer a number of years ago. My abiding memory is getting told off by someone for talking while we set off on the walk.

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The service end but I had something else planned for the afternoon. Most people know that my education is in religion and I have followed an organisation for a number of years called Hope not Hate. This was set up to counter the extremist groups such as the BNP and others and to educate those about their BNP racist agenda.

During my year in Oxford training to be a teacher I visited various places of worship including two of the main mosques in Birmingham. I have always be interested in religion and thought it was about time I spoke to some muslims about their views of various racist groups and their outlook on the continuing attacks on Islam.

I set up a meeting with someone from the Islamic Diversity Centre in Newcastle and spent time discuss my concerns and getting their perspective on life. It was certainly an interesting discussion. It was good to hear that their work is to break down the various misconceptions about Islam. They regularly speak to various groups in the north east and part of their outreach is to provide services for the homeless and elderly; something even I wasn’t familiar with.

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I was given a small gift which contained various literature about Islam. I hope that I will be able to learn more and get to know a few of the muslim population here in the north east. I attend to visit a mosque and hopefully gain more understanding of this religion.

the barefoot tree

Still grumpy

Gari Wellingham

UK-based musical theatre geek previously living with a brain tumour!