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Renewing Hope On Foot

by glynch — last modified 28 Mar, 2014 12:01 PM

Three bishops join together for a pedestrianised prayer pilgrimage in the Woodford Valley

Renewing Hope On Foot

Bishop Nicholas is shown the ropes at St Lawrence's, Stratford-sub-Castle, by tower captain David Todd.

The latest of the Diocese’s Lent prayer walks saw all three of our bishops join with local church people for a walk through Wiltshire’s Woodford Valley. The Bishops walked from Wilsford to Stratford-sub-Castle, stopping off at Great Durnford, Middle Woodford, and the site of Old Sarum Cathedral.

Bishop Nicholas said all of the bishops have been enjoying the Lent walks, a great opportunity to share time with God and one another.

“The Lent prayer walks are proving to be very good occasions”, said the Diocesan Bishop, “Highlights in the Woodford Valley were the welcome and prayers in three churches and the Woodford Valley School. The prayers after lunch renewed our hope and we went on our way rejoicing.

Pilgrims at Old Sarum“We were welcomed at a house where there were stones from the old Bishop’s Palace upriver from Old Sarum. At Old Sarum we stood in the outline of the old cathedral and looked to the new whilst the bells of St Lawrence’s, Stratford-sub-Castle, summoned us to tea and prayer with a substantial congregation. “

Bishop Edward said, “A particular highlight was the visit to Woodford Valley School. It was joy to visit so many churches, to experience them as holy places and to how loved and cared for they are.

“The weather started out rather grey and cold, although we didn’t have any rain, but as the day wore on it improved and we finished in glorious afternoon sunshine.”

Three Bishops at Woodford ValleyBishop Graham said it was one of the best days of his time in the Diocese, crowned by a profound encounter with a primary school pupil.

“All three of us enjoyed being batons in a relay race, passed on from people in each parish to the next.

“I was deeply moved by the freedom with which the children prayed openly at Woodford Valley School after our lunch together. On my ring is engraved ‘God Help Poore Kings’, a quote from George Herbert’s poem Church Music. When I discussed this with a pupil, telling her people found the quote strange because kings aren’t poor, she immediately replied, ‘But Jesus was a king and he was poor.’”

There are still three more prayer walks during Lent, all on Tuesday 8 April - click here for full details.

  • Bishop Graham will lead a labyrinth walk at Maiden Castle in Dorchester.
  • Bishop Edward will lead a walk in the Vale of Pewsey.
  • Bishop Nicholas will lead a walk in Salisbury and Wilton.

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