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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

The Mystery of St. Cuthbert

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ December 6, 2012

For almost 14 centuries St. Cuthbert has been inspiring and mystifying people. His simple, holy life lived in as much obscurity as he could manage on not-remote-enough islands off the coast of Northumbria, the amazing account of the 200-year-journey of the Cuthbert Folk guarding his relics throughout northern England and southern Scotland, his uncorrupted body surviving the ravages of the Dissolution. . . the story continues to today, inspiring Believers anew with the power of Holiness.

My efriend, the English poet David Grieve who is also a chaplain at Durham Cathedral, was inspired anew this morning during his private prayers at St. Cuthbert's Shrine. This is the poem he wrote and kindly gave me permission to post here:

You Cannot Get Rid of St Cuthbert

You cannot get rid of St Cuthbert.
Steal his jewels, knock down his shrine,
but he is still here,
channelling the eternal in time.

You cannot remove St Cuthbert.
Kings tried, Reformers went wild
but he is still here,
saint grown from sheep-keeping child.

You cannot ignore St Cuthbert.
He permeates prayer, provokes belief,
and he is still here for Christ
our Christmas joy and Good Friday grief.

I asked David to tell us something about his life and he responded: I was made a Deacon in the C of E and married to Jane in 1976. We have served in Merseyside, Nottinghamshire and Durham since then. Jane is now also ordained and is a Canon of Durham in charge of three parishes in Teesdale, a rural district. I had to retire from full-time ministry after an illness in 1987, and have been writing poetry since then, being frequently published, often by ‘Poetry Church’ (q.v.), and for me poetry is part of my priestly calling. I continue to serve as a priest as health allows.

To learn more about David's work and the books of poetry he has published go to the Thambos Books website (where you will also learn that Thambos is a New Testament word meaning "astonishment" a perfect word for the life of St. Cuthbert.

http://thambosbooks.yolasite.com/publications.php

That's a poet's gift--condensing meaning into a few brief lines. As much as I admire it, it's not my gift. It took me 384 pages to tell the story in my novel  A Very Private Grave which you can see more about on my homepage.

Thank you so much for sharing, David!

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

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Reader Comments:

I'm very grateful to Donna for all her great love for England and our great Christian heritage which resounds still today. In case anyone is wondering about the 'Stained Hair', I am flagging up the national colours for a good cause in Romania, Jesus And Relief Supplies, which works among needy people in the North East of the country.
-David Grieve, December 7, 2012

Ha, David! I thought that's just how poets grew their hair. Wonderful to know about the work in Romania.
-Donna, December 7, 2012

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