The Iona Community have made the Spring 2012 issue of Coracle available online, and in it (Page 19 if you're interested) my article, The M62: a pilgrimage in everyday life [download here]. An extract:
It is liberating, to purge oneself of prejudices about certain types of places and people, to remove from oneself any preconceptions about spirituality as sanctioned by purveyors of pilgrimage, and about the limited range of activities which will bring oneself closer to the divine. It is a joy to discover that your spirit can grow not just in so-called thin places, but in places thick with carbon smoke: motorway service stations, for instance, which are the arenas for thousands of meaningful human encounters each day, refuelling stops for people on significant journeys, places of work for many, leisure destinations for those who live locally to them. Roger Green spent two years immersing himself in the life of South Mimms Services on the M25; his Destination Nowhere is a fascinating read, which inspired me to make the Travelodges and Days Inns of the M62 my home for days on end whilst on my journey. The generously-lit space of Cafe Primo became my living room: people-watching from the perfect comfort of a well-proportioned leather armchair, ready for unexpected occasional conversations, and enrichment.