A Great Strength of Feet

A pilgrimage walk between all the parishes of the Arrowvale Group on the 26th – 27th September, 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.

GoFundMe Page:

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Walking out of lockdown into a new normal

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

Saturday 26th September
Lunchtime – Pembridge Refreshments
2.00pm – Service of prayers and thanks
3.00 – 4.30pm – Walk to Shobdon
4.30pm Service (Evensong)
5.00pm Refreshments to follow

Sunday 27th September
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 Refreshments to follow.

There will be a truck available to give lifts to the weary and stewards front and back.
Displays of lockdown activities and stories will be in each church.

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”

Isaiah 52-7

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God

Micah 6:8

From the Rector
During this lockdown and crisis I have spent a deal of time considering how we as the church should respond when the lockdown is loosened. There are two things that struck me as most important.

The first is to be able to speak of the pain and difficulties we have experienced; what the Bible would call lamentation. It is a very human need to have our stories heard, only when we feel that we have been heard can we move on to healing ourselves.

The second is to give thanks. Everywhere I have heard people agreeing that the community spirit we found during this period must carry on. We have benefitted so much from the kind of neighbourliness we thought had been lost, and we want to thank those people who we saw helping out and providing that spirit. From the NHS and care home workers to my neighbour who called me just to ask, How are you? Is there anything I can do for you?’ We want to thank every one of them.

To mark these two things I am going to walk between all the parishes of the Arrowvale Group on the 26th- 27th September, 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.

All are invited to the services and to join in as much or as little of the walk as you wish.

Please let me know about anyone you would like to have included in the prayers. People who have helped you through the crisis, or have put themselves out for their community.

What did lockdown mean to you?

Tell us what it has been like for you.

We would like to make a display in the churches of any memories you have of the lockdown. If you would like to write something about what lockdown meant for you or send photos of what you have been doing – gardening, crafts, cooking, reading – anything, we will display them.

You can send them to me at The Rectory, Manley Crescent, Pembridge, HR6 9EB or email them to abranston2002@gmail.com

For me this is a pilgrimage; a journey of prayer and listening. An opportunity to hear your stories and to bring us together as the larger community that is the Arrowvale Group of churches. Please look on our website and Facebook pages for more news and updates throughout the summer.

With prayers and good wishes

Anna
Summer 2020

Rectory Garden – March

Rectory Garden – July

PILGRIMAGES
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