Back on the Bike for Lent

by Gerry Lynch last modified 12 Feb, 2015 12:00 PM

Bishop Edward will eat only local food as well as giving up his car for second Lent in a row.

The Right Revd Dr Edward Condry, the Bishop of Ramsbury, gave up his car for Lent last year, saving over 2,000 miles of driving. This year’s Lent starts on Wednesday, 18 February, and the bishop will take on an additional challenge – eating locally sourced food only.

Bishop Edward mainly looks after churches in rural parts of Wiltshire, so public transport is limited and he’ll often be dependent on pedal power.

Bishop Edward said, “Last year, I gave up my car for the whole of Lent, doing as much of my business as possible by bike and the rest of it by bus and train. This saved over 2,000 miles of driving. It was rewarding, and at times extraordinarily challenging.

“I was surprised how much of a spiritual experience it was to give up the car, in a way that struggling to give up chocolate had never achieved, for me. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but maybe it is as simple as having to change my life pattern and make an extra effort.

“Lent should be a time when Christians make some real sacrifices, following the example of Jesus Christ, who fasted in the desert for forty days before starting his public ministry. It’s also right that I do things that lead me to question my 21st Century lifestyle that comes at a huge cost to the planet. That’s why I decided to eat only locally sourced or Fairtrade food for Lent as well as giving up the car.

“Christians are called to care for God’s creation. Each of us must take our personal contribution to CO2 emissions seriously.

“With Lent starting quite early this year, there’s a possibility of some really cold weather at the start, and of course the days are still short. There will be moments when I’m cycling into a vicious wind on a busy A36 in the evening twilight that I’ll think I’m mad for doing this! On the other hand, you really appreciate the slow arrival of warmer weather and especially the lighter evenings once the clocks go forward.

“Another great positive of living without a car is the time it creates for really switching off. We live in a world where instant communication can leave us feeling permanently harassed and stressed. Cycling gives me space to think properly and to pray deeply.” 

Pilgrimage Walks

Bishop Edward also discussed his plans for a series of pilgrimage walks during Lent. “Last year, all three bishops went on a series of pilgrimage walks throughout the Diocese. That was a really positive experience for us – we were so warmly welcomed and valued everywhere we went. That’s another innovation I’ll be keeping up this year.

“I’ll be doing four pilgrimage walks. One on Thursday 19 February, in the villages and suburbs immediately to the west of Salisbury; one on Tuesday 24 February in and around Trowbridge; one on Thursday 26 February in the Vale of Pewsey; and finally one on Wednesday 18 March in and around Bradford on Avon. Full details are below.” 

Bishop Edward will also be blogging again this Lent. His blog can be read at: http://bishopedward.wordpress.com

Full details of each pilgrimage walk. 

Pilgrimage Walk, 19 February 2015, outside Salisbury
Pilgrimage Walk, 24 February 2015, in and around Trowbridge
Pilgrimage Walk, 26 February 2015, Vale of Pewsey
Pilgrimage Walk, 18 March 2015, in and around Bradford on Avon

Pilgrimage Walk, 19 February 2015, outside Salisbury

St George’s Chuch, Harnham: Arriving 7.48, Departing 8.18
St Michael’s, Compton Chamberlayne: Arriving 11.05, Departing 11.35
St Mary’s, Dinton: Arriving 12.31, Departing 13.01
St Editha’s, Baverstock: Arriving 13.33, Departing 14.03
Barford St Martin: Arriving 15.06, Departing 15.36
St Mary and St Nicholas, Wilton: Arriving 16.38, Departing 17.08
St Peter’s, Fugglestone: Arriving 17.19, Departing 17.29
St Andrew’s, Bemerton: Arriving 17.59, Departing 18.10

Pilgrimage Walk, 24 February 2015, in and around Trowbridge

St John’s, Studley: Arriving 8.25, Departing 8.55
St Thomas, Southwick: Arriving 9.11, Departing 9.41
St Nicholas, North Bradley: Arriving 10.08, Departing 10.38
St Mary the Virgin, Steeple Ashton: Arriving 12.10, Departing 12.40
St Leonard, Keevil: Arriving 13.03, Departing 13.33
St George’s, Semington: Arriving 14.16, Departing 14.46
St Michael and All Angels, Hilperton: Arriving: Arriving 15.29, Departing 15.59
St Thomas’, Trowbridge: Arriving 16.18 , Departing 16.38
St James’, Trowbridge: Arriving 16.43, Departing 17.13

Pilgrimage Walk, 26 February 2015, Vale of Pewsey

St John’s, Pewsey: Arriving 8.18, Departing 8.48
St Peter’s, Manningford Bruce: Arriving 9.34, Departing 9.54
St James’, North Newnton: Arriving 10.07, Departing 10.27
St Mary Magdalene, Woodborough: Arriving 11.08, Departing 11.38
Stanton St Bernard: Arriving 12.25, Departing 12.55
St Mary the Virgin, Alton Barnes: Arriving 13.17, Departing 13.47
All Saints, Alton Priors: Arriving 13.50, Departing 14.10
Holy Trinity, Oare: Arriving 15.45, Departing 16.15
Holy Cross, Wilcot: Arriving 16.56, Departing 17.26

Pilgrimage Walk, 18 March 2015, in and around Bradford on Avon

Holy Trinity, Bradford: Arriving 8.11, Departing 8.36
St Laurence (the Saxon Church), Bradford: Arriving 8.41, Departing 8.51
Christ Church, Bradford: Arriving 8.58, Departing 9.28
St James’, South Wraxall: Arriving 10.18, Departing 10.48
St Michael and All Angels, Atworth: Arriving 11.30, Departing 12.00
Christ Church, Shaw: Arriving 12.41, Departing 13.11
St Mary the Virgin, Broughton Gifford: Arriving 13.48, Departing 14.18
All Saints, Great Chalfield: Arriving 14.44, Departing 15.14
Holt St Katharine: Arriving 15.34, Departing 16.04

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