7th Sunday of Easter, 24th May 2020

Thought for the Week: Cairns

A few weeks ago I wrote describing the rainbows our children had drawn all over pavements and walls and how this might be pointing us towards something about God. Well, the adults of Whitley Bay are being very creative too!

If you walk down onto the beach beyond the Briar Dene you will see an incredible sight – there’s a whole sea of cairns sitting at the top of the beach. Not only that, you’ll see messages to family members, memorials of celebrations and, sometimes, people sitting among the stones in quiet reflection. What on earth is going on?

Cairns have long been used by humans to mark trails, show borders or indicate graves. There seems to be something in the human psyche which is moved to leave messages for those who come after us. It was no different for earlier civilisations either. In fact, the Old Testament has a number of examples, too.

In the book of Joshua, chapters 3 and 4 tell us of the final stage of Israel’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. God parts the waters of the Jordan (the same as the Red Sea) so the children of Israel can walk on dry ground into their new home. The Lord then asks that a cairn is built where they crossed the river, using 12 stones from the river bed. This cairn will act as a memorial to this event and as a sign of all that God had accomplished for God’s people.

So what about the cairns on Whitley Bay beach? I wonder if there’s an element of memorial in them, too. We want to remember this time of lockdown so that we never again re-create the events which produced this one. Perhaps the cairns are to act as reminder to us to protect the Earth, to be good stewards of God’s creation and to pay attention to the consequences of our actions.

God seems to be working really hard to get our attention at the moment!

Rev'd Clare Connors 


Ascension to Pentecost

There will be a short times of prayer online every day on our website between Ascension Day and Pentecost (21st May to 31st May) to mark Thy Kingdom Come – a time when all Christians are invited to pray for a renewed sense of the Holy Spirit and for a deepening of faith. We will also be posting the links on our Facebook Page

The prayer resources for Thy Kingdom Come are available on our website – click on Church at Home and scroll down to Thy Kingdom Come.  We invite you to pray with us by following along with a new post each day from midday between Ascension Day and Pentecost.