Island wide Pilgrimage honouring Jersey saint

An island wide event that re-launched after a two-year pause saw a pilgrimage to St Hellier in Jersey. Among those who trekked from Town Church to the Hermitage where St. Helier lived and died were Bishop Stephen and his wife, Carol, Dean Mike Kierle and The Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. 

The Rt Revd Bishop Stephen, Bishop of Salisbury and The Very Revd Michael Keirle, Dean of Jersey, spoke on BBC Jersey (2hr 13 mins in) about this annual event. 

The story goes that Hillier used to spend a great deal of his time in St. Helier, feeding and watering himself with the help of his friend who he used to signal to when they went fishing. One day pirates arrived, but he couldn't hide, and they saw him. When Helier tried to reason with the pirates, their leader didn't like the fact that he was beginning to make an impact upon his fellow pirates and sadly beheaded him. “Its’s one of the reasons we have the two axes on the superior coat of arms” Dean Mike explained, “it’s a reminder of how Hillier died.” 

In an interview with BBC Jersey, Dean Mike shared his thoughts on what lessons we can learn from St. Helier's story: "I think there are some important truths in Hellier's story, particularly looking out for others. I think that's the thing that I take away from his story. He went out of his way to look out for others, and that's quite a message for us. 

“And I rather hope that as we go on our pilgrimage today, when we'll get very wet feet, I suspect that actually we'll look out for each other along the way. It's just a reminder of part of the Christian calling.” he added. 

Bishop Stephen said that a pilgrimage is "about walking, talking and praying in company with others that you might not normally meet." He likened it to the Christian life. 

“Jesus's message is about walking together in company with others, and we look at the scriptures and he did that. So many times, he didn't judge, but walked in company walked alongside.” 

At the end of the interview, the bishop said that carrying the Jersey Crosier (staff) was one of the most important parts of his pilgrimage. 

This is the tradition of whenever the bishop visits the islands, he gets handed straight away the Island crosier. The crosier is a symbol of continuity. “It’s the sense of coming to and picking up where you left off.” said Bishop Stephen “The sense of being able to walk across to the Hermitage, carrying the pastoral staff for the people of Jersey.”

Powered by Church Edit