On Monday ten of us from Merseyside Forest Church met in a garden around a fire to share prayer and poems, story and silence.
Part of our ritual is 'Calling the Quarters' as we turn to welcome the four cardinal directions, here are the words we used this time:
NORTH: (a lantern is lit)
Flame of the North, come as the saints of old, bringing a message to these darkened islands - of hope in confusion, of light in the darkness. We bid you hail and welcome.
SOUTH: (a lantern is lit)
Flame of the South, come shining strongly to bless our neighbours in the southern hemisphere in the rhythm of your yearly dance. We bid you hail and welcome.
WEST: (a lantern is lit)
Flame of the West, come as imagination and dream, comforting and challenging us to embody your sacred light and creativity. We bid you hail and welcome.
EAST: (a lantern is lit)
Flame of the East, come as new day dawning as we look forward to the renewal of spring. We bid you hail and welcome.
You can see the whole ritual here
We ended the celebration with mulled cranberry and roasted chestnuts and lots of talk and laughter. My jacket still smells of woodsmoke.