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Gallery: People share trials and tribulations, joys and disappointments wth Bishops on pilgrimage

PUBLISHED: 12:13 19 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:13 19 March 2019

Potter Rob Wheeler with Bishops Mike Harrison and Martin Seeley Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

Potter Rob Wheeler with Bishops Mike Harrison and Martin Seeley Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

© Keith Mindham

Two bishops have been left ‘‘humbled and privileged’’ after meeting hundreds of people of all ages during a Lent pilgrimage across Suffolk.

Potter Rob Wheeler gave the Bishops a lesson in making a bowl on a potters wheel during their pilgrimage through Walsham le Willows Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHYPotter Rob Wheeler gave the Bishops a lesson in making a bowl on a potters wheel during their pilgrimage through Walsham le Willows Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and his colleague the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, took their ministry onto the road for 10 days – walking 90 miles across north Suffolk, from Southwold to Stowmarket.

They met schoolchildren, visited flourishing industries, prayed at village churches and chatted with farmers and other people enjoying and working in the countryside.

They engaged with different communities, playing darts in a village pub one night, throwing a pot on a potter’s wheel, eating traditional Suffolk fish and chips, and listening to children talk about their lives.

Bishop Martin said: “We wanted to meet new and different audiences while providing access to ourselves which helps to enrich our understanding of what it is like for those living and working in Suffolk today.

Bishops Mike Harrison and Martin Seeley joining pupils for assembly at Walsham le Willows CEVC Primary School Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTGRAPHYBishops Mike Harrison and Martin Seeley joining pupils for assembly at Walsham le Willows CEVC Primary School Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTGRAPHY

‘‘Yet again we found men, women, boys and girls of all ages wanting to walk by our side and chat about their lives. We found this humbling in that they wanted to share their trials and tribulations, their joys and disappointments with us.

‘‘It was indeed a privilege for us to be part of their day and to be part of their memories as we held wide-ranging discussions.’’

Their pilgrimage finished at Stowmarket’s Museum of East Anglian Life where Bishop Mike said: ‘‘It was totally appropriate that we should end our pilgrimage here, among a mixture of exhibits documenting agricultural history through the ages.

‘‘Our pilgrimage took us through country lanes and farmers’ fields and, as we met the Suffolk farmers of today, we were given a greater understanding of all that has gone before to make our county what it is today.

Bishops Mike Harrison and Martin Seeley get a sneak preview of the �Vision mosaic� at Walsham le Willows CEVC Primary School, pictured with them from left are headteacher Angela Hunter, pupils Tommy Jenkins and Harry Swallow, whose designs were used to create the mosaic, and governor Di Barker Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHYBishops Mike Harrison and Martin Seeley get a sneak preview of the �Vision mosaic� at Walsham le Willows CEVC Primary School, pictured with them from left are headteacher Angela Hunter, pupils Tommy Jenkins and Harry Swallow, whose designs were used to create the mosaic, and governor Di Barker Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

‘‘We found a countryside that is inevitably concerned about the unknown impact of Brexit, but a countryside which is rich in talent and robust enough to survive whatever is thrown at it.’’

Each day started and finished with prayers and included visits to the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton; Wyken Vineyard; Pakenham Water Mill; Designs on Metal, Stowlangtoft, and chatting with locals at Hoxne, at the Blue Boar, Walsham le Willows, and the Pykkerell Inn, Ixworth.

The bishops also held a School Mass in the church with Eye Primary School and the parish at St Peter and St Paul, Eye.

They also raised money for their Kagera Appeal which supports young people and subsistence farmers in Kagera, Tanzania.

Museum of East Anglian Life director Jenny Cousins on the footplate of a steam engine with The Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, left, and The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Picture: KEITH MINDHAMMuseum of East Anglian Life director Jenny Cousins on the footplate of a steam engine with The Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, left, and The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

Their pilgrimage included Redisham, Bungay, Metfield, Fressingfield, Eye, Rickinghall, Ixworth and Bacton.

The bishops visited numerous churches including at Reydon, Wangford, Uggeshall, Stoven, Redisham, Shadingfield, Beccles, Barsham, Mettingham, Bungay, Metfield, Fressingfield, Wingfield, Hoxne, Oakley, Eye, Yaxley, Thornham Magna, Mellis, Rickinghall, Ixworth, Stowlangtoft, Langham, Badwell Ash, Wyverstone, Bacton, Old Newton and Stowmarket.

Chloe Brett, marketing officer at The Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket; Vicar Michael Eden; Jenny Cousins, museum director; The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich; and The Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, outside the blacksmiths workshop Picture: KEITH MINDHAMChloe Brett, marketing officer at The Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket; Vicar Michael Eden; Jenny Cousins, museum director; The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich; and The Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, outside the blacksmiths workshop Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

Museum of East Anglian Life director Jenny Cousins on the footplate of a steam engine with The Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, left, The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, also pictured are Stowmarket Vicar Michael Eden and Chloe Brett, marketing officer at the museum Picture: KEITH MINDHAMMuseum of East Anglian Life director Jenny Cousins on the footplate of a steam engine with The Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, left, The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, also pictured are Stowmarket Vicar Michael Eden and Chloe Brett, marketing officer at the museum Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, set off on their annual Lent Pilgrimage Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHYThe Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, set off on their annual Lent Pilgrimage Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

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