Before the time of computers and the internet, cars and motorcycles, electricity and steam, there lived a young man called Geordie. Geordie worked a farm, 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, 52 weeks of the year. He lived by the seasons, the harvests, the birth of new lambs, the raising of cows and sheep. He enjoyed his life, it had a rhythm that was connected to every thing around him.
On Saturday nights, Geordie always made his way to the local Tavern for some serious ale drinking with his friends and to spend the evening eying up Betty the Beautiful Barmaid. This was his life and he liked it, just as it was. That was, until the bell rang.
It started unexpectedly. There he was in the Tavern, drinking with his mates, flirting with Betty, and he could hear a bell ringing. Same time , same number of chimes, same deep and dulcet tones that seemed to reach right into his soul. Nobody else could hear the bell, not even Betty, though she said there was an old Church over the hill.
Next Saturday night Geordie set out to see if he could find the old church. He arrived as the bell rang. He peeped inside the main door, but its old iron hinges announced his arrival. A priest, who looked as old as the Church, summoned him to come inside and join the small number of people who knelt in the pews softly muttering their prayers. In some kind of undefined order, each got up and sat with the Priest for a few moments, received a blessing, then off they went, out into the darkness. Geordie felt calmly disturbed. He had not been to Confession since he was a child, and had no plans to join the Priest, until it just seemed loke it was his turn. The priest called him by name, welcomed him back home, and said he would see him next week, at the time of the Bell.
Geordie stumbled out of the Church into the dark, but starlit night. He was still calm, but more disturbed. Somebody was reaching down and gently but firmly touching his soul. He panicked, and ran as if the hounds of heaven were chasing him until he reached the safety of the Tavern, the last drink of Ale, and Betty; The Beautiful Barmaid.