Wednesday, 23 February 2022

To find me

Friends, I think it likely I shall not write here much any more.

If you want to correspond with me privately, leave your email address in a comment. No comment publishes automatically, and I receive email notification of all comments. So I can then delete your comment to protect your privacy online, but contact you via email.

It's a good idea to just say a little about who you are and why you want to be in touch — otherwise I might think you are a carpet salesman or someone scamming me for money or one of those men who want to tell me they are a general in the American army and I am very pretty. Obviously I'd just bin any such overtures without further investigation.

I am on Facebook too (Pen Wilcock), so you can stay in touch with me there. I usually have privacy settings that mean you can't send me a friend request unless you are already friends with one of my friends, but you can always message me on Facebook and let me know you want to be friends, and (unless I think you are a carpet salesman or "a general in the American army") we can take it from there. 

It helps me to have an idea who you are. At the moment I have changed my settings to let old friends from here find me there, and I've been getting friend requests from women whose pages have very little information — not even a face to their profile and no sign of much or any activity, and I feel a bit "hmm" about letting them in. If you message me and say "hi it's me, I came from your blog", that quiets down my uh-oh meter.

Blessed be. 


Arlo said...

Pen - I am in a bit of shock with this announcement. What has happened? Where will I see how you and the family are doing? Arlo I AM NOT A SCAMMER! I am an Indigenous woman from Canada. Please be well.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello, Arlo! Blessed be! Yes, I know you are not a scammer! 😄

Are you on Facebook? I have very cautious privacy settings there, but if you message me I can send you a Friend request or lower my barriers somewhat (if yours are also high) to let you send a Friend request to me.

I think what has happened is I have just got very tired. I have not been very well for a long time, and a combination of lack of support from my publishers and lack of interest in my church made it harder and harder for me to work. The reviews of my work were describing it as irrelevant and clichéed and saccharine, and my books now are hard to get outside of second hand bookshops — and all in all I have become very weary of the struggle and of swimming against the tide.

I no longer have the strength to uphold a public self. But I am only tired, that's all; I'm well enough for the day to day, and full of peace, and my fellow-travellers are just glorious — both my family and those in the invisible world who walk with me.

Trying to write and speak publicly has become like shouting into the wind. Only those who are right next to me can hear me.

The only message I have to bring is that Jesus is full of love and wants us to be like him; that if we cannot manage love then start with kindness; that our prayers are heard and we are treasured and all will be well; that we are called to live in simplicity and take care of each other; that our job is to walk one another home, regardless of our religion or our sexuality or our politics or anything else. That's all, and it is true every day.

If you want to be in touch and you don't like Facebook, message me your email — you don't need to have a massive problem to be in touch with me, you can just be a friend.

Blessed be.

Suzan said...

God bless your journey. I will be able to contact you via facebook. I can understand tired and feeling there is not much to share. Lives are full of routines and not one grand adventure after another.

Pen Wilcock said...

Amen! Yes, see you online. x

Anonymous said...

I’m sad to see you leave this wonderful blog of yours, but I understand. My routine in the morning is to read my devotions from Creighton University, a catholic university in Omaha, spend time in prayer or journaling and the over to your site to see what you have to say. By the way, I’m not catholic but am a progressive Mennonite living in Indiana, so I’m ecumenical in my walk with God.
I too would love to be added to your Facebook group if possible. Blessings to you and your family.

Pen Wilcock said...

Okay, friend — if you let me know who you are, and message me on Facebook (where I'm simply Pen Wilcock) I'll look out for your message and send you a Friend request if your privacy settings allow that.

Judy Olson said...

I am a long-time reader of your blog, I think I started reading when you were a purple sister. I am so grateful for your ministry over the years. Thank you and may you be peaceful and at ease all your days on this earth.

Pen Wilcock said...

Thank you.


Blessed be.

Anonymous said...

Hello Pen. I'd just like to say a massive thank-you for continuing with this blog for so long; for sharing your thoughts, life, wisdom and work. It has certainly been a huge comfort to me over the years and I am saddened to hear your authenticity and message has been overlooked by some, and that you have been made to feel so tired by it. I hope the path you are now following will be a kinder one. With love, Deb x

Pen Wilcock said...


Got your other message, Deb, and emailed you. Blessed be. x

Zillah said...

So sorry to hear that you're stepping away from public writing. Your posts have been a great inspiration to me. Perhaps I will re-read your blog for a little daily dose of Pen.

I'm not on facebook, but perhaps I will see you in Meeting one day.

In Friendship


Pen Wilcock said...

And if there's ever something you want to talk through, leave a comment with your email address and we can correspond by email.
Blessed be, friend. x

About Cheryl Thompson said...

I am so NOT ready to let you go. You keep company with me everyday of my life through your books, recorded Thinkabouts, and Facebook presence. From you I have learned how to live in peace everyday, how to generate love and shed bitterness by choosing kindness. From you I learned how to forgive by “cancelling the debt,” and that opened up a previously impossible relationship to slow, gentle dialogue. Everyday I think about the freedom of relinquishment and simplicity, thanks to your very important book Relinquishment. I just acquired your book in care for bereaved and dying people and it it teaching me new dimensions to following Jesus as I care for my elderly father.

I perpetually read through the Hawk and the Dove stories; they teach me how to live in community; they are evergreen reminders of timeless truths.

So I will go wherever I can find you. I’m my next comment I will give you my e-mail address. I thank God for you, Pen. No one has influenced more positively than you have in the past ten years.

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh, you are such a sweetheart — that is so very kind. Blessed be.


The thoughts I might have written down here I'll continue to share on Facebook (like I did about Ukraine the other day), and we are friends there. Also the more intermittent version of The Campfire Church we now have will continue indefinitely — Grace and I are in conversation about where spiritual path is taking us now. xx

GerriHultgren said...

I will miss your posts.,it was always like visiting with a friend. I sent you a friend request on Facebook and hope to see you there. I understand that you are tired and need to pull back. I wish you well and hope you can rest and recover.

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh, my goodness, we've travelled a long way together, Gerri!

Found your friend request and confirmed it.


Sandra Ann said...

Aw I’m so sad but understand your decision. I’m so very grateful that we are friends on FB 🙂. I hope you will keep this space available online as I do so love reading your older posts on sustainablility and plain dress. I’ve read many of your books several times over and they are a real comfort to me xx

Pen Wilcock said...

Yes, I'm glad we're friends there, and I think some of the posts are useful so I'll just leave the blog here where it is. See you online. Blessed be. xx

Julie B. said...

Dearest Ember,

I feel like something has been amputated. I understand, but selfishly, I don't want you to let this beautiful spot go. Even your "everyday words" have been so nourishing to me. I am not a Facebook person, so I will be writing you a pen and ink letter soon.

Praying for you and yours,



Pen Wilcock said...

And we can keep in touch by email — plus, if we are hyper-organised, get it together to do a Skype/Facetime call at some point. xx

SM said...

Hi Penelope,

Today is the first day I have searched for your blog, only to find this message from you. Before you go, and hopefully you are still reading comments, I want to take the opportunity to tell you how much your books have meant to me over the years and now recently.I have treasured my original copy of The Hawk and the Dove ever since I first read it many years ago. I have had the first trilogy for a long time and have read and reread them again and again. It was only recently that I discovered that there are 6 more books and I was so thrilled to order them last year and immerse in the world of St Alcuins again. Your writings have helped me tremendously in this current period of my life while I care for my elderly mother who has vascular dementia. They have kept me focused on my mission to embrace this task and show kindness and helped me to see the privilege that it is. "Brother Michael sighed as he watch Tom walk away. Which would I rather have, he wondered: the luxury of turning my back like that, or the privilege of facing it?" This hit me to the heart and God has used your books to speak to me daily. I've written many quotes from you into my journal. Thank you! I am even considering starting again immediately as soon as I've finished the last book, just so that I can remain wrapped in that world as it is helping me so much to keep the right attitude!
God Bless you Pen, and thank you.

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh, that makes me happy. Thank you so much.
Yes, all comments here come through to my email — I find them.
May you be blessed and upheld in caring for your mother. May you be guided and wisely chose the way that is right for you as well as for her. Brother Michael is good company on that journey, and also Father John. x

Lee said...

Hello Penelope,

I'm a long-time reader and re-reader of the Hawk and the Dove and like SM above, didn't realize there was more to the series until just recently (and I joyfully ordered them all!).

I truly want to thank you for the gift of your heart and the expression of Jesus you bring into the world. The truth I've seen in your work has spoken to me deeply, and assuaged much loneliness over the years as my heart has resonated with so much in the journeys of your characters. In my current season of life (again, much like SM above), I'm caring for my elderly mom with Alzheimers who's moved in with us; I'm finding fresh encouragement (and exhortation) in reading The Hawk yet again. I've recommended it countless times over the years (it's my "Staff Pick" in the bookshop/giftstore at the Christian camp where my husband and I live and work). I was also delighted to recently steer two ladies to it during a recent Zoom call; one is our Hospice chaplain and the other is the Methodist minister my folks sat under for several years. I'm hoping they find it as encouraging as I have!

Thank you again for sharing your gift; here is a virtual hug for you! :) May God bless you in the days ahead!

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello, Lee — waving to you. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to write to me; it is a big encouragement and a source of happiness.
May you be wisely guided and sustained every day as you make this life journey with your mother. Don't be afraid to take what you need for your own wellbeing too; it's what will give you the strength you need.
Blessed be. x

Lynda said...

Hi Pen... Bye Pen... :))

I understand.

I don't know if my days are getting busier or I am getting slower, but there never seem to be enough hours to do all I want to do. I make it a priority to get my Weekend Words blog posts up, but my general posts are few and far between ( and getting 'far-er'). Sometimes I feel that with all that is going on in the world these days, that my writing about my day to day activities is rather trivial.

I don't do Facebook, and I think you maybe have my email, but I'll send it in a separate message. Maybe when you get less tired and I get less busy, we can 'catch up' :)

Be blessed my friend! love, Lynda xx

Pen Wilcock said...

Waving across the weary, war-torn world too you, my friend far away.

I've emailed you, and yes, it would be lovely to stay in touch. xx

Martha said...

Hello Pen

Thank you so much for all the time you have put into blogging here. I am trying to make this sound appreciative rather than stalkerish, because I realise it must feel odd when a total stranger gets in touch and says, "I've been reading ALL the back issues of your blog"! But I'm afraid I am that total stranger. You have given me lots to think about, especially your thoughts about money and living simply. But it has also been such a peaceful place to come and read about the crows and seagulls, and building Komorebi, and all the little things. So thank you.

I'm on Facebook so I will find you on there if that's OK. I also have a blog at , so you are welcome to go and read all the back issues of my blog, too, if you want some idea of who I am! (There are a few references to your blog in some of the more recent posts.)

I just read your post from 2019 about online relationships being real too - I completely agree, but reading someone's blog and then getting in touch directly feels something like living in someone's house before you meet them. There's a certain one-sidedness which is only possible online, I think.

Blessings to you, and may you continue to find and emanate peace and rest, even in this decidedly unpeaceful world.

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh, thank you for the link to your blog! I just had a happy time dipping into it, and I'll enjoy going across to read what you've written. Waving to you. Yes, message me on Facebook and I'll send you a Friend request, or lower my privacy wall so you can send one to me.
Blessed be. x

Aimee Kollmansberger said...

I own the original trilogy of The Hawk and the Dove, but hadn't reread it in many years. For Lent, I decided to choose it to companion me, and I just finished it this morning with tears streaming down my face. I had no idea that you had written more in the series and am thrilled to continue having the monks accompany me and direct me :) We have been caregiving for my stepfather and my mother who both have had dementia. He passed away the end of February, and now we continue the journey with my mom. Brother Michael is teaching me so much about how to love. I so often feel like Tom...scared and unsure and uncomfortable. Thank you for gently teaching through story! I came to find you online and see that you are no longer going to blog...I friended you on FB because I would love to continue to be taught by you. Thank you for writing with such vulnerability, wit, and beauty.

Pen Wilcock said...

Thank you, Aimee — I'm so glad the stories helped. The next book in the series (Book 4, The Hardest Thing To Do) is also a Lent book, as it happens.
May you be blessed ad upheld in your journey with your mother. You have many family responsibilities, I see. May you find oases of peace and refreshment in every day. x

Megs said...

I am so sorry to hear this, and feel hurt for you that. You are not appreciated more in this state of the world. I went to Facebook to request friendship there. I find your writing so thoughtful, instead of the sound bite, comfortable fare, it makes me examine myself and my actions. And on any given day, I am not sure of my place in the faith community. Your space has been welcoming.
I wish you well.
Margaret Hess

Pen Wilcock said...

Hiya — thank you — my Facebook privacy settings are high, so you probably couldn't send me a friend request. There are a few people called Margaret Hess on Facebook so I wasn't sure which one was you, but if you message me there I'll send you a friend request (if your privacy settings permit that). x

Anonymous said...

Dear Pen you may not be continuing to blog but know you have helped many with you thought provoking books and comments. I am rereading the Wilderness within you. Tears are streaming down my face as I too sit in the darkness of 4am in the morning. I would say sadness rather than anger but the rest is the same. Thank you again. Whether you blog or not your wisdom remains out there.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello, friend. I am so very glad my perspective on life has helped you. That makes me happy. Blessed be. x

Anonymous said...

Dear Pen
I just wrote you a long message and then lost it. All I really want to say is thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your writing and all that you offer is a huge blessing. I am so sad to see you stepping back from your wonderful blog but understand you must do what is right for you.
I am not very good with technology, so don't really know how to 'choose an identity', so think I will have to tick anonymous. I don't really use Facebook anymore either.
Please know though that what you offer is so beautiful and so very much appreciated. You are a light and a guide and your closeness to Jesus and your love of Him is a gift to us all. May He fill you now with all that you most need.
with love and appreciation always,

Pen Wilcock said...

Thank you so much, Elizabeth, how lovely! That is so kind. If ever you want to be in touch personally, comment again with your email address, and I will get back to you. Blessed be. xx

Unknown said...

Irrelevant? I don't think so. I have just been introduced to your work via my church and I just love your stories and the way you write. I have been deeply moved by stories within 'wounds of God' and I am also reading the wilderness within as my companion towards Easter. Thank you for all you have given me. God bless you x

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh, thank you, friend! I hope The Wilderness Within is a good travelling time with Jesus for you. Blessed be. x

Anonymous said...

I found your blog back in the "plain" days and continued reading it and commenting from time to time (always anonymously). I still think of things you have written, or responded to me personally, and the difference they have made in my heart and my life. I am someone who is too small (not too young) for Facebook but I will always remember you. Lord bless you always, hope to see you one day after He's gathered us. :)

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello, friend. I love the Plain people — "die stille Im Lande" — and I humbly hope I remain (according to my context and idiom) in my own way Plain. I also love that you are too small for Facebook. The shrine of Christ's birthplace at Bethlehem is small as well, and it is necessary to bend low to enter that doorway. The ways and means of the holy are usually small and insignificant — parvo et humilis — like the little poor man of Assisi who started where he was and began to rebuild the fallen church stone by stone with his own two hands. I think it will always be so. Blessed be. x

Charleen said...

Hello Penn,
Hi, it’s me, Charleen Kanagy, from your blog. I’d like to be invited to your Facebook group.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello Charleen — I have a regular Facebook page where you can be my friend. My privacy settings are high, but if you look me up and send me a direct message there, I'll be able to find you and send you a friend request.
This is my page so you know the right person to message.

The only group connected with me on Facebook is The Campfire Church that met during the month of lockdown when people couldn't go to church. The group is still there and all the acts of worship are still available to wander through, but we don't often do anything live now folk are back to regular local church.
But The Campfire Church is here if you want to send a request to join it:

Pen Wilcock said...

Charleen, is this the right page for you on Facebook?

If it is I'll send you a friend request.

Pat Blalock said...

Hi Penelope, I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed the Hawk and Dove series. I just finished the last one and feel bereft. I am Anglo Catholic and have taken a Single Consecrated Life Vow and am a Benedictine Oblate, so try to live a monastic life in my little sheltered housing flat in north London. I struggle with spiritual reading as I am not in any way academic, but your 9 novels have been spiritual reading for me. They have given me much to think about. They have taught me much. They have also helped me to cope with my 94 year old mother who has Alzheimer’s and lives in the flat under mine. I try hard to treat her with the same compassion that the Brothers care for the elderly monks. I don’t always succeed but I try. I try to follow the Rule of Benedict which I read every day. I do my best. Your novels have helped.
I am now reading ‘The Clear Light of Day’ and loving it.
Thank you for your amazing storytelling skills. For the work that has gone into producing the wonderful stories. Thank you for your understanding of what Jesus taught. Thank you.
Pat Blalock

Pen Wilcock said...

Thank you so much, Pat. It must be difficult to cope with your mother's decline and discern the best way to support her while keeping appropriate boundaries. May you be wisely guided, may you be refreshed, may you have good companions for your journey. I am so glad my stories have been a help to you. Blessed be. x