Walking With God

by Gerry Lynch last modified 19 Mar, 2014 01:33 PM

Pilgrims join Bishop Graham and Bishop Nicholas in the first two of seven prayer walks during Lent.

Walking With God

Bishop Graham leads prayers at Badbury Rings.

Despite a windy and sometimes drizzly day in the middle of what has otherwise been a fine spell of early spring weather, well over 100 people joined in with the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury, and the Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings, the Bishop of Sherborne, as they led the first two of seven prayer walks that will take place in the Diocese during Lent.

Bishop Graham’s party opted for a fixed pilgrimage location at Badbury Rings, an Iron Age hill fort near Wimborne Minister. The ecumenical group of 55 pilgrims, including Anglicans, Methodists, Roman Catholics and Reformed Christians, may have opted for a fixed location, but they weren’t static. They walked six times around the three rings for a total walk of five miles.

Badbury.JPGBishop Graham said, “Going anticlockwise one ring in, after going clockwise at first was jarring and deeply moving.”

In between their circumambulations of the rings, the pilgrims stopped for prayers and, of course, a picnic lunch. The day concluded with a hearty afternoon tea at Kingston Lacy, a National Trust property and country house, where free entry had been arranged.

Sarah from BBC Radio Solent accompanied the walk, and there will be feature on the walk going out on Tim Daykin’s breakfast show on Sunday coming, 23 March.

+NHBridportFINAL.jpgMeanwhile, Bishop Nicholas on the move in West Dorset for a walk from Bridport to Whitchurch Canonicorum. Around 30 people joined in with some or all of the walk, with further groups joining in with prayers at each of the four churches visited. The walk started at St. Mary’s in Bridport and proceeded via St. Swithun’s and then St John the Baptist in Symondsbury before finishing up at historic Whitchurch Canonicorum, the ‘Cathedral of the Vale’.

The walk also visited the Good Books Christian bookshop in Bridport, and pilgrims were well nourished – firstly with an excellent pub lunch at the Ilchester Arms in Symondsbury, and then with a fantastic tea at Whitchurch Canonicorum after Evensong.

More than 80 people then attended an evening talk by Bishop Nicholas, The Passion of Art, at St Mary’s in Bridport.

The next Lent walk will take place tomorrow, Thursday 19 March, in the Chalke Valley. It will be led by Bishop Edward Condry. Four further walks will take place during the remaining weeks of Lent – find out more at http://www.salisbury.anglican.org/lentwalks

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