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HOUSESITTING IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND

I love it when our members take the iniative and write about their experiences. This is an extract from an article that was written by a Canadian sitter who visited England and was printed in Cathedral Connections.  St Peter’s London Ontario

A UNIQUE ADVENTURE – HOUSESITTING IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND
By Joyce Hilton

At some point we all think about a dream vacation, especially one that costs little and allows you to enhance your love of Christianity and its history and architecture.

My dream vacation and journey began when I stumbled across a website that promised just that. It was called Christian House Sitters, an Internet based service that brought Christian home owners and Christian house sitters together.

Christians home owners who wanted to take a holiday and needed some one to look after their home and! or their pets while away could apply. The other side of the service accommodated persons who could not afford a holiday but would now be enabled to take a break and see other countries. Their only expense wouId be the cost of travel and their food.

It was totally Christian based and required everyone involved to have a reference from their church.
The registration cost was twenty dollars Canadian for the year which allowed me access to information about various properties in different countries that required a house sitter.

A couple in Norwich, England advertised for a sitter for three months. I was born in England and wanted to experience the atmosphere of its mediaeval history and churches. Norwich seemed like a perfect fit! It is a church enthusiast’s paradise. It possesses more mediaeval churches than any other English City. There is an old saying in Norwich that there are 52 churches for every week of the year and 365 pubs for every day of the day. (My interest was in the former.)

In addition to its great cathedral and the ruins of three other buildings, there are thirty-one other parishes in Norwich that have survived.

I arrived in England in early January of this year and met my awesome hosts who were leaving in the next few days for New Zealand.

Before they left, they drove me to Great Yarmouth, a city on the east coast of England situated about fifty miles away. Along the way, we stopped to look at the ruins of a thirteenth century Augustinian Priory. Even though the walls had eroded to half their size and roofs had long disappeared, you sensed that this was once a holy place and the likely home of earlier saints.

It was the first step in my quest to visit ancient holy places.  I left realizing that I was a part of a much larger faith community, one that transcends countries and history

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