A Great Strength of Feet

A pilgrimage walk between all the parishes of the Arrowvale Group on the 26th – 27th September 2020, holding a service of prayer and thanks in each church; prayers for the departed and thanks for those who contributed to fostering community spirit and in helping their neighbours.

Walking out of lockdown into a new normal

Our September 2020 Pilgrimage, “A Great Strength of Feet”, like many things in 2020, had to have some changes from it’s original plan due to the virus but, in spite of everything was a great success. It brought us all together, for a weekend, it gave us time to talk, walk and appreciate what a wonderful part of the world we live in and we only were slightly lost once (or, as someone once said, “We are not lost, it’s the place we are looking for that’s lost!”). As an added bonus we raised some money for the Arrowvale Group of Parishes and our thanks go to all who donated, all who helped with the organisation and planning and everyone who attended the services in each of our churches and everyone who walked all or part of the way.

In fact it was such a success that we plan to repeat it next year. Watch this space for details and, if you have any ideas, would like to help, be involved or take a walk with us then please contact either your churchwardens or the Rector. Meanwhile have a look at some of the photographs from the weekend.

What we did

Friday 25th September 2020
6.00pm – Night Prayer (Compline) at Moorcourt Chapel (limited numbers due to space)

Saturday 26th September 2020
Lunchtime – Pembridge Refreshments
2.00pm – Service of prayers and thanks
3.00 – 4.30pm – Walk to Shobdon
4.30pm Service (Evensong)

Sunday 27th September 2020
10.00 am – Lyonshall. Service (Group Eucharist)
11.00 – 1.00 – Walk to Staunton
1.00pm – Lunch 1.00. 3.00
3.00pm Walk to Byton
5.00pm Service of Prayers and Thanks at Byton

Humans have always walked, the earliest humans were nomadic, and ancient walking routes still form part of the landscape across the world. Our part of Herefordshire is full of beautiful walks and dedicated walkers.

Pilgrimages add a spiritual dimension to the walking. Early Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land are documented from the fourth century. In England the pilgrimage to Canterbury was immortalised by Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales. The pilgrimage to St James of Compostela was recently documented in The Road to Santiago where celebrities experienced the profound spiritual effects of pilgrimage.

While not exactly a pilgrimage we have an ancient tradition of ‘beating the bounds’ a ceremonial walk around the boundaries of the parish, singing hymns and psalms and praying for blessings on the community.

To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art or history. To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendour and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe.
Pope Benedict XVI

Photographs from the 2020 walk