On St Aldhelm's Trail

by Gerry Lynch last modified 01 May, 2017 12:26 PM

Bishop Karen asks people to join her on Ascension Day pilgrimage

On St Aldhelm's Trail

Credit: Stuart Bexon

Bishop Karen has invited people to join her in a pilgrimage to one of the Dorset’s most beautiful and historic spots. 

She will lead the pilgrimage on Thursday 25 May, Ascension Day, to the beautiful Norman Chapel of St Aldhelm near Worth Matravers.  25 May is also date of the feast of St Aldhelm in the Church calendar.

The event will be part of a national period of prayer organised by the Archbishop of Canterbury called Thy Kingdom Come, which will run from 25 May until 4 June, Pentecost Sunday.  

Bishop Karen said, “Tiny St Aldhelm’s is a very special place, perched on top of high cliffs, and accessible only on foot. It’s a thin place where it’s easy to feel the gap between heaven and earth narrowing. 

“We’ll walk the mile or so from the car park together and then have a short act of worship at the chapel. This will be part of Thy Kingdom Come, a great wave of prayer taking place across England and beyond. 

“Please bring a picnic – we'll share one on the cliffs if the weather permits, and at St Nicholas’ in Worth Matravers if the weather is typically English!

“The pilgrimage is open to everyone, whatever their religious views. Many people, whether or not they are churchgoers, visit places of spiritual interest and sometimes discover a little piece of heaven. 

“St Aldhelm was the first Bishop of Sherborne, so I am his direct successor – I was made a bishop 1311 years after he was. 

“I am keen to promote pilgrimage in Dorset. The county’s many chapels, shrines and holy wells allow people to touch the transcendent right here on our own doorstep.”

Practical Information

Pilgrims should assemble before10.30 am at the Renscombe Farm car park (postcode BH19 3LL). A rugged pathway leads for 1½ miles/2.5 km to St Aldhelm’s Chapel (capacity around 90). Dogs welcome on the walk and in chapel. Vehicle access is not permitted but should mobility be a concern a special ‘all terrain’ coach will be available.

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