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Fifth Sunday of Lent 17-18 March 2018

If ever you get the chance to travel to Turkey make sure you go to the Roman ruins at Ephesus. The trip is instructive for all sorts of reasons, not least because two thousand years ago Ephesus was a seaport and now you have to drive inland for over an hour to get there. I wonder what our cities will look like in another two thousand years? But Ephesus is worth the trip. The Roman ruins there, especially the library, are extraordinary. For Christians, however, three other places there capture the imagination. It’s the place to which the great letter in the New Testament was addressed. There are the ruins of the hall in which the important Council of Ephesus met, and there are ruins of a monastery built over what is claimed to be the final home of St John, the Beloved Disciple. There is also the much more dubious claim that Mary’s final house, and the site of her Assumption, is on top of the mountain overlooking the ancient city.

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