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Bishops’ Lent Pilgrimage

Wednesday 1st March 2017

Bishops’ Lent Pilgrimage

Best feet forward, Bishops Martin, right, and Mike, left, begin their eleven day walk to Bury St Edmunds after the service at Dunwich Beach. Photo: Keith Mindham Photography


TWO bishops are walking 70 miles across Suffolk to meet communities face to face and discover the challenges they face.

The bishops, who are inviting the public to walk with them during the 11 day pilgrimage, will start in Dunwich and walk to Bury St Edmunds visiting youth groups, schools, churches, businesses, farmers and pubs.

The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, see their pilgrimage as an ideal way to celebrate their first Lent in office together as relatively new bishops in the county.

They want to spend time with people while walking at a leisurely pace and hope farmers, villagers and other people from all walks of life will accompany them, even if it is only for a couple of miles.

Bishop Martin said: "Lent is a time to think about our relationship with God and what may be getting in the way of us making a difference to others' lives.

"Taking time out to do that is important for Christians, and so one way we decided to keep Lent this year by disrupting our usual schedule. 

"We will be walking together with people and learning of their gifts and talents, and listening to their needs and hopes."

The pilgrimage starts on March 1 with a service at 9am on Dunwich beach and Bishops Martin and Mike will finish in time for the Diocesan Synod at Bury St Edmunds Cathedral on March 11.

Their walks will begin and finish with prayer and apart from visiting numerous churches they will also see Westleton Chapel bookshop, Emmerdale Farm Shop at Darsham, Yoxford Antiques Centre, the Victoria pub at Earl Soham, Aspalls Cider, Stonham Barns Craft Centre and walk beside the River Gipping.

Bishop Mike said: ‘‘Being relatively new to Suffolk, travelling on foot is a great way to spend time getting to know more of the county and the good work which is going on in churches, schools, farms, local businesses and the wider community. As bishops a key part of our role is being out and about.’’

The route is on the Diocesan website and shows good stretches to join Bishops Martin and Mike: http://www.cofesuffolk.org/bishops-pilgrimage.