A Place Beyond The Priory

 "A Place Beyond the Priory " This is a story about Life in North Shields during the 1900's-1920's Tom Farrow is a third generation coble fisherman, Who meets and falls in love with a young herring girl who has travelled from the isle of Barra in the outer Hebrides looking for work. Margaret Linnie, her two friends Kerstin McDonald and Beth Munro all end up on the gutting line in Tyne Brand - their unscrupulous foreman Albert Mortimer treats all the girls on the line like animals including his wife Lizzie who bares him 11 children. forced into a marriage she did not want, Lizzie is abused by Albert for his own sexual gratification. She was in love with a young Greek boy called Leonidas Kostalas whom she had known from her days at school and lost her virginity to but her father will not allow them to marry- this is a story of love and betrayal and will keep you riveted until the last page is read.


50. 50

at the back there was a large fireplace and a welsh dresser with fine china. A globe stood in a wooden frame and father Peter went to look at it.

The known world was different in those days and the shape of the countries far different. There seemed to be a lot more land and less water. There were suits of armour from Oliver Cromwell times; when the round heads fought the cavaliers. Coins of the realm were on display in glass cabinets around the room as well as guns and rifles. The huge church hall with its wooden beams was much like Lindisfarne in design. There were organ pipes which must have been added at a later period which stood out amongst the wooden pews and flooring; all were highly polished.

In another hall there were more oil paintings, swords, spears, pikes and other suits of armour. The guide showed them around the castle taking them down into the dungeons where he explained about the practice of torture. On the battlements were the remnants of old cannons that had been restored. The tour took about an hour and they made their way to the Apple Core restaurant afterwards where they all ate lunch.

Iris still only ate sparingly on a ham sandwich as the rest all tucked in to soup, Dover sole, new potatoes, and garden peas. For dessert there was an egg custard tart or sticky toffee pudding and custard. Most of the women indulged themselves because they thought that they’d earned it with the long walk that they had completed. They all walked back the way they had come and when they had reached the coach they couldn’t wait to sit down and rest their legs. It was fairly quiet on the coach going back to the retreat. Iris again was just looking out of the window and chose to ignore the comments from the other women. When they arrived back Iris found a book from the library and took it to her room. She didn’t come down for dinner but took a bath and then sat in her night gown Reading a Raymond Simpson book. Iris flicked through the pages of the book not really reading just scanning the pages. She could not get Father Peter out of her head. She couldn’t wait for the next two nights to be over so they could go back home. The spiritual guidance that she was looking for hadn’t turned out the way she’d hoped. Then Iris began to try and think logically; how could she expect a priest to throw himself at a married woman. Regardless of the situation that she found herself in Peter was not going to go near her and even if she were not married he was a catholic priest.

She searched for answers in her bible and in Matthew’s gospel she found the answer “Jesus said that none of us would be married in heaven.’

Theologically and canonically priests who serve in a place of Christ meant that their ministry configured them to Christ. Christ himself was not married (except in the eyes of the church) by remaining celibate they could devote themselves to the teachings of Jesus Christ.  In Paul’s gospels he recommended celibacy to all but especially to ministers. Before being ordained all catholic priests take a vow of celibacy and abstain from civilian affairs. If they try to marry they would be excommunicated from the church and would not be able to continue as a priest or any other religious sect.

Iris began to cry again knowing that the situation she was in was hopeless.

She now knew why Peter had distanced himself from her. He could not put temptation in his path. She threw her head on the pillow to muffle her sobbing.

She heard Peter go into his room, it was eleven thirty. She got out of bed then went to the bathroom; she washed the tears from her eyes then came back to her room.

She heard a gentle knock on her door and she went to the door again.’

“It was Father Peter.



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