This blog is called Peregryn ultimately because of a Spanish monk who once answered the door to me. It was a cold February night somewhere in the north of Spain. I had found the monastery door and rung the bell, and I was standing outside the enormous ancient wooden door, listening for any sign of life . Eventually there were footsteps. They came nearer. They stopped, and the door creaked open, and there in the darkness was a small monk beaming at me. ‘¡Peregrina!’ he said. It is the Spanish for pilgrim.
So when I began I looked for ‘peregrina’ and found a Scottish variation.
Ultimately, peregrinus comes from per agri, across the fields, as will be recognised by any pilgrim who has paused at the edge of another Rioja vineyard to remove several pounds of clay from her boots. The peregrine falcon is so called because when people set out to catch them they did so when the young birds were migrating, across the fields, rather than from the nests. This is because the peregrine falcon nests in inaccessible places, like the edge of a cliff, or the tower of a cathedral.
I am at present Canon Missioner at Derby Cathedral, in charge – among other responsibilities – of curiouse peregryne and unprofitable questions, and with peregrines as unofficial colleagues. The one in the picture is suspicious of the webcam.