Mid Week Reflection – Lindisfarne, Holy Island

Lindisfarne – Holy Island

Lindisfarne is situated off the Northumbria coast in the north east of England, a causeway links the island to the mainland. The causeway is covered by the tide twice a day.

It became one of the holiest sites in Anglo-Saxon England. At the invitation of King Oswald, Aiden, a monk from Iona founded a monastery on Lindisfarne in around 635. Aiden became its first Abbot and Bishop.

Perhaps its most famous bishop was Cuthbert who arrived in about 670. He was a reluctant Bishop, Cuthbert preferred the life of a hermit, he became bishop in 685 and had a reputation as a caring pastor and healer.

Lindisfarne became known as a centre of learning one of its lasting contributions was the creation of the of illuminated Latin manuscript of the Gospels, believed to have been created between 710-25, the Lindisfarne Gospels which are now in the British Library.

Folio 209v of the Lindisfarne Gospels showing John the Evangelist.

associated with Eadfrith of LindisfarnePublic domain

The wealth that grew around Lindisfarne as did its reputation made it a centre of Christian learning. In June 793, however, it suffered a Viking attack which led to the monks to vacate the Monastery for about 400 years. Lindisfarne returned as an active religious centre from about the 12th century until the Dissolution of Monasteries and over the centuries slowly went into decline.

For more information about the history of Lindisfarne visit the English Heritage web site

While Lindisfarne is seen by many as a tourist attraction it is also a centre for retreats

My thanks to Lynne and Brian Williams for the photos from Lindisfarne

+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Almighty God,
who called your Church to bear witness
that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:
help us to proclaim the good news of your love,
that all who hear it may be drawn to you;
through him who was lifted up on the cross,
and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
(Common Worship Collect for the 13th Sunday of Trinity)

The Word of the Lord
(Verses from the readings from those set for the 13th Sunday of Trinity)

Psalm 15
Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle? • Who may rest upon your holy hill?
Whoever leads an uncorrupt life • and does the thing that is right;
Who speaks the truth from the heart • and bears no deceit on the tongue;
Who does no evil to a friend • and pours no scorn on a neighbour;
In whose sight the wicked are not esteemed, • but who honours those who fear the Lord.
Whoever has sworn to a neighbour • and never goes back on that word;
Who does not lend money in hope of gain, • nor takes a bribe against the innocent;
Whoever does these things • shall never fall.


James (1.17-18, 22-25)
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfilment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
. . . be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.


Lindisfarne has been a holy place over some 1400 years, admittedly there were long periods when the monastery laid empty or in ruins. Yet people returned to these sacred places and in them found sacred people and found themselves and hopefully that they too were part of this sacred fabric and like those before them they were walking in the way of Christ.

Loving God, what we desire is this; that people see not us, but through our smile, greeting, helping hand or helpful word, your love reach out and touch, maybe at a time of need. Keep us focussed through this day on being your servants in this place, or wherever you might take us, and may your name be glorified.

When life is tough, Lord, grant us both strength but peace, in knowing you are there beside us in darkness and in light, never further away than a silent prayer is heard and arms reach out to hug. (John Birch)

Let us draw into our circle of prayer our:
Local church and its leaders
wider community

widening our circle to include:
those in government and positions of authority
those who are oppressed
those who are hungry and homeless
those who are ill
those facing death
Merciful Father, accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

Almighty God, you search us and know us:
may we rely on you in strength and rest on you in weakness,
now and in all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God bless the steps you take and the path you tread. May they bring you safely to where God needs you at the start of this new day.

*John Birch Sunshine – Storm page 2,16 & 111

You may wish the finish this time of reflective prayer sitting silently and enjoying a peaceful moment or two. You may also think about listening to some music that has touched you or a favourite hymn or song. Enjoy these moments! God bless!

Derek Akker