Tales from the Towpath (8)

March 2024

Helping boaters in different locations certainly adds to the interest of being a WWC and poses a challenge to find my way to some of the more rural locations. I have thus visited the Shropshire Union Canal at Norbury Junction, Gnosall, Church Eaton and Wheaton Aston. It makes you appreciate that here in Stone we have a very good towpath – it can get wet but some others are very, very muddy indeed!

I was very pleased to be invited for a meal on board a boat owned by two of our ‘roving’ Waterways Chaplains when they came to Stone. It was good to share their stories and their very great experience of helping boaters all around the canal network. They obviously visit churches everywhere they go and wherever they happen to be moored – they love to share the gospel and stories of good news. Do look out for Fiona and Steve on ‘Lutra Lutra’ as they will always be happy to talk to you. Do pray for them in their very special ministry.

I am pleased that one boater I have been helping over the last 5 months after a bad accident is now on the move again – such a relief, when you are used to a nomadic lifestyle, and having been stuck in one place. Thank you for your prayers for the boater’s recovery.

I met with two new probationary chaplains over near Burton-on-Trent, walking their ‘patch’ with them and showing them how a lock works!  I am sure they will be a real asset to our team of chaplains – there are a lot of canals to cover in order to address the needs of the boating community.

Great fun to attend Great Haywood Floating Market last weekend – lots of useful contacts and could not resist buying a watering can featuring traditional canal art!

I have been walking/biking the towpath in Stone from Aston to Barlaston. The holiday boats are getting moving now so we will see lots of traffic coming through our town. Talking with people, helping at locks, being available. It’s such a joy being out and about and (hopefully) being useful!

Thank you for your support. Please continue to pray for all boaters and users of the towpath in our town.

Many blessings – Helen