I write from the bus on my way to Sunderland this morning!

Settling in this first few days has been quiet and homey. I’ve been getting to know my host family and community, enjoying the sun when it appears, and generally having little jet lag. Yesterday my host mama and I took the bus into Durham to do some errands and look into the Lindisfarne Gospels, on exhibition through the end of the month. We were surprised to find it booked solidly throughout the weekend!

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Not to be dismayed, we went on into the cathedral. It was austere, lofty, all those words one usually uses to describe cathedrals. Scarlet banners evoking the carpet pages of the Gospels, along with each book’s name, sparkled with sequins and embroidery among the columns of the nave. Silent worshippers sat reverently, contemplatively on wooden pews. Cathedral personnel – were they volunteers? Lay ministers? Nuns? – arranged flowers in various chapels and alcoves.

I chose to pay the £5 to climb 300+ stairs to the roof. It was worth it, despite the dizzying spiral and slippery stairs. There is something I love about being in high places! This was no different, and the view was – well, see for yourself.

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The rest of the day was practical: getting a local phone number, procuring fruit from a local purveyor, becoming more confident with the bus system. In the evening, after a meeting with the leadership of the House of Prayer, I joined the rest of the interns for about three hours of fiery prayer and worship.

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This morning I’m headed back to Sunderland to join two other interns for a hike. The weather looks to be a joy, and we will take advantage of the sunshine. Next week the last of the other interns arrive, so it has been wonderful to enjoy this peaceful, easy transition.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my new life thus far! I look forward to reporting many more adventures!

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