Bishops’ Lent Pilgrimage
Monday 13th March 2017
Photo: Keith Mindham Photography
TWO bishops have walked 65 miles across Suffolk to meet communities face to face and discover the challenges they face.
The bishops, who invited the public to walk with them during the 11 day pilgrimage, started in Dunwich on March 1 and walked to Bury St Edmunds visiting youth groups, schools, churches, businesses, farmers and pubs to spend time with people with they live and work.
The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, saw their pilgrimage as an ideal way to celebrate their first Lent in office together as relatively new bishops in the county.
They wanted to spend time with people while walking at a leisurely pace and hoped 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 walked together with people and learnt of their gifts and talents, and listened to their needs and hopes."
The pilgrimage started on March 1 with a service at 9am on Dunwich beach and Bishops Martin and Mike finished in time for the Diocesan Synod at Bury St Edmunds Cathedral today (March 11.)
Their walk began and finished with prayer and apart from visiting numerous churches they saw 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 was on the Diocesan website and showed good stretches to join Bishops Martin and Mike: http://www.cofesuffolk.org/bishops-pilgrimage