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