On August Bank Holiday Monday twenty one church members went on a memorable walk across Otmoor led by Colin Thompson.
As we walked and talked together we began thinking that the walk resembled the Christian journey. We found it challenging in places (several narrow stiles, one of which was almost completely blocked by a hedge of brambles and no-one had brought secateurs!) There were little rickety bridges and barbed wire to overcome. We actually decided not to venture into the field with cows, calves and a bull in it.We certainly needed a guide and when even he wondered which way to go at one moment, we felt we might have stepped right into Pilgrim’s Progress. There were rough places (very deep ruts and hillocks) and the field with long grass was tiring to walk through. But en route we picked delicious blackberries and met very friendly people. The compensations were many, a beautiful day, lovely open vistas and a binding feeling of togetherness.We had a lot of support from each other: at one point Colin, (on the way out) and Robert, (on the way back) had to hang out over an abyss, keeping the way clear for the others to cross the footbridge.
We learnt a lot about the history of Otmoor from Colin. It really is a fascinating place. He showed us the spot where he once fell in a ditch (not the Slough of Despond) and we didn’t get involved in the Otmoor riots! We came at last to the Celestial City, in this case Colin’s beautiful garden where we were rewarded with heavenly cakes and very welcome cups of tea. Thank you, Colin, it was wonderful.