Reverend takes on pilgrimage in support of mental health charity
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk reverend is embarking on a pilgrimage across the west of the county to raise funds for a mental health charity.
Reverend Tom Mumford will be walking from Sudbury to Bury St Edmunds to raise money for the Kernos Centre, which provides professional counselling and support for people with emotional and psychological difficulties.
The charity was founded in 2003 and provides counselling support services for adults, children and young people with emotional and psychological difficulties.
On August 22, Reverend Mumford will begin his charity trek from his parish church, St Gregory’s in Sudbury, to St Edmundsbury Cathedral and the abbey ruins where St Edmund’s shrine once laid.
The route, known as St Edmund Way, has seen thousands of pilgrims walk the path throughout the centuries and is approximately 20 miles in length.
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Reverend Mumford said: “I love journeys. They’re something I missed massively during lockdown, not least because a week before I broke my foot, meaning even a daily walk was impossible.
“But I love journeys not so much for the destination, but because of what you learn on the way – what it allows you to notice, to see from a different perspective.
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“One of the reasons for this, I believe, is that God, as the wellspring of life, is in all things, and that everything is in some way of him.
“This makes every journey, every stepping out from our homes, an adventure of God, an opportunity to learn more of him, and in turn to learn more of ourselves. It is with this sense of excitement and anticipation that I make this pilgrimage.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened anxiety in our nation like nothing I have seen in my lifetime. Isolation has intensified loneliness, lockdown has caused both mental and financial depression.
“Our lives have been changed entirely, almost overnight. We have all had our dark days and weeks, how could we not?
“Though many of us choose not to talk about it, I know from my own experience, and from speaking to parishioners during lockdown that things have been really up and down.
“Some weeks have been good, enjoying the sun and the lack of evening meetings.
“But some weeks have been tough, feeling as if there’s no end in sight, missing out on big occasions - the black dog has been well and truly present.”
“Recognising the increasing need for mental health support at this time, all money I raise will be donated to the Kernos centre, to support local people in their time of need.”
Peter Brown, finance director at the Kernos Centre, said: “How grateful we are for Reverend Mumford’s fundraising efforts.
“In difficult times like these, it is wonderful to be the beneficiary of such an endeavour which will help to sustain our counselling services for those around Sudbury who cannot afford to seek help at times of great stress.”
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