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Rosy Cole

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Rosy Cole was born and educated in the Shires of England. Her writing career started in her teens. Four apprentice works eventually led to publication of two novels. Life intervened, but she returned to authorship in 2004. She has worked as a Press Officer and Publisher's Reader. Among widespread interests, she lists history, opera, musicals, jazz, the arts, drawing and painting, gemmology, homoeopathy and alternative therapies. Theology also is an abiding interest. As a singer, she's performed alongside many renowned musicians and has run a music agency which specialised in themed 'words-and-music' programmes, bringing her two greatest passions together. Rosy's first book of poetry, THE TWAIN, Poems of Earth and Ether, was published in April 2012, National Poetry Month, and two other collections are in preparation. As well as the First and Second Books in the Berkeley Series, she has written several other historical titles and one of literary fiction. She is currently working on the Third Book in the Berkeley Series. All her books are now published under the New Eve imprint. Rosy lives in West Sussex with her son, Chris, and her Labrador cross, Poppy, who keeps a firm paw on the work-and-walkies schedule!

A House Not Made With Hands: (2) Where The Spirit Leads

...continued 




"Ah, Leicestershire," sighed John Wesley as his mount kicked over a stony track, "where I always feel such liberty and see but little fruit!"


He had just taken his leave of the brethren at Markfield, the foothold of his ministry in the Charnwood Forest, when a flushed and breathless rider came galloping alongside. At once he recognised John Coltman, a hosier from Leicester with whom he had dined on several occasions. Not long ago the poor fellow had been gravely depressed and had tried all manner of remedies until the little preacher had laid hands on him and called down the blessing of the Heavenly Physician.

"Mr Wesley, sir, I heard tell you were abroad in these parts. Won't you come and speak to the good folk of the town?"

Wesley reached out and put a lightly consoling hand beneath his companion's elbow. "I don't wilfully neglect them, my friend. I must go where I'm most needed and the Spirit leads elsewhere. There's a deal of trouble brewing in the Border Country since Charles Edward Stuart landed on these shores."

"Ay, he'll do away wi' King George and turn us all into Papists!"





"He's a long way to go before that, thank God. But we must not underestimate the strength of Jacobite feeling. Tis an odd irony that we Methodists, as Dissenters from the Established Church, are oftentimes mistaken for Catholics. Our sect is everywhere spoken against."

"Then they suffer much in the North?"

"Praise God, they do!" beamed the wiry clergyman. "There's nothing to make the gospel thrive so much as persecution. The best Christians are to be found among the strongholds of the devil. Go and tell them in the town to pray for a happy outcome of these affairs and I engage to visit you on my return."

The comrades parted, the hosier to broadcast this heartening exchange, the man of God to reflect on the phlegmatic nature of these Midlanders. Many was the time he had passed through the county and expounded the faith in its villages, but the area did not beckon strongly enough and the town scarcely at all. They were peaceable folk, he knew, spinners and weavers whose grinding toil had brought a fair degree of economic stability to the region. Sometimes they would rise in the small hours, walking miles out of their way to hear his message before work began, but though they listened with interest, they were slow to respond. Materialism was their god and guide and they thought nothing of plundering every wagon that entered the town gates to sell its goods at inflated prices.

If only they could raise their heads above their wheels and treadles and glimpse eternity.

 



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A House Not Made With Hands: (1) On Moody Bush Hill

This is the reimagined true story of one community's struggle to bring New Jerusalem out of the clouds during a quarter of a millennium of radical change. The spiritual dynamism inspired by John Wesley in these Leicestershire parishes was multiplied throughout the British Isles and steadily contributed to the welfare and stability of the nation when Europe was in ferment and the beast of anarchy was baying at the door. King George III himself fully recognised the part played by Methodism. He even donated ships' timbers for the building of Wesley's Chapel in the City of London and presented them in person.

Setting the scene...

 

On Moody Bush Hill, just off the bridle path which traces a lackadaisical course to South Croxton, stands a forgotten relic of feudal times. It is neither milestone nor monolith, neither cairn nor cornerstone, a granite tooth inscribed with the words Moody Bush. No one knows how it came to be there or who was the mason who tooled its weather-hewn face. Legend claims that it marks the meeting place of the old hundreds court which debated local affairs when William the Conqueror took it into his head that the Gallic touch was needed to civilise the mongrel peasants of this island. Where the mighty emperors of Rome had failed, he would not!

It is an idyllic landscape, thickly populated with oak and ash, with elder, blackthorn and sycamore, diligently tilled for almost a thousand years since the Vikings first tamed its forests and subdued its stubborn clay with their peerless ploughshares. It rests at the heart of a heart-shaped county, about as far from any alien horizon or the cut and thrust of everything associated with seafaring as you can get.

Ridgemere Lane towards South Croxton - P J Thomas (Creative Commons)

Queniborough nestles in the valley, distinguished by the dragon's tail spire of St. Mary's church, and a mile or two to the north-west, the tower of St. Peter's Church rises foursquare in the parish of Syston. In the archaic tongue of its Anglo-Saxon settlers, the tiny hamlet was named Sithestun after the broad, blunt stone where its patriarchs gathered.

Little affects the tempo of its days. The warring factions to the north and south which contest the right of the Catholic Stuart over the Protestant Hanoverian for the nation's throne are no more than a whispered rumour. Ever since the Roman occupation, shiresfolk have preferred to cherish their roots rather than tangle with offcomers. The fact that St. Augustine, despatched by Pope Gregory I to these pagan shores, had converted Offa, descendant of Eowa, King Penda of Mercia's brother, and the kingdom had grown fat and prosperous as a result, has long passed from memory. Those who work the land assume God's in his heaven and that they know how life should be lived.

 

     

 Penda of Mercia - Elijah McNeal                                Offa of Mercia

But deep below their pattens and hunting-boots, nature still seethes. The middle ground is riven by an ancient fault line. Some say that, until the titanic upheavals of the Ice Age, the undulating plain which forms the backbone of Charnwood Forest was the highest range of peaks in England. Every so often the earth's core rumbles and sends forth a shuddering ripple which undermines buildings, causes lightning cracks to appear in plasterwork and stirs up a gale. Thunderstorms occur more regularly than anywhere else in the British Isles.



        

 

Today, these rocky outcrops, Breedon Hill, Beacon Hill, Burrough Hill, fortresses from the cradle of man, are stations in a chain of beacons. They might warn of advancing armies, hail a new sovereign or proclaim the birth of his heir.

So much for earthquake, wind and fire. But what of the still, small voice...?

 Burrough Hill Iron Age Hillfort - Mat Fascione (Creative Commons)

Continued...

A House Not Made With Hands

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
This is a lovely piece of writing. A calm, sure voice telling the story of the still, small voice.
Friday, 11 November 2022 19:59
Rosy Cole
Delighted you thought so, Steve. Thank you. A book was commissioned before the millennium as part of the centenary celebrations of... Read More
Saturday, 12 November 2022 15:53
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All Hallows' Eve

   

Artist unknown
 

 

All-presuming is the night

and thin the treaty with the light
A fitting canvas for the deeds
of those whose witching spirit feeds
on turmoil, grief and proud revenge
Who frequent churchyard, weald and henge
Who pawn their powers to cryptic death
and make a mockery of faith
while comic trickery is wrought
in innocence and youthful sport
which tempts the restless souls beyond
to revel in their loosened bond
Let them hold court in shadowed realms!
Kindle the fire that overwhelms!
Light a candle in the night!
And celebrate such means of light
with song and dance and music merry
with pumpkin, apple, chestnut and berry
Give thanks for autumn’s bounteous store
and show the Saints an open door!

©RosyCole2022


 

Art: Daniel Gerhartz

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
Hear hear! The first painting looks like a Saturday Evening Post cover.
Monday, 31 October 2022 20:04
Rosy Cole
It has a Twainian vibe, doesn't it? :-)
Tuesday, 01 November 2022 13:48
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The Bright Field






 

















On St David's Day, a poem by R S Thomas

 

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
the treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

 

Collected Poems 1945-1990 (Phoenix Press, £14.99)

 Moses_Burning_Bush_stained_glass.png

 

 

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