Day 8 leaves All Saints Church, Narborough on Saturday 28th August, gathering at 9.30 a.m. for a 9.45 a.m. briefing and a 10 a.m. prompt start. You could join them there or send prayers and letters to your MP and the Prime Minister with them.
This is the shortest leg of the whole 9 day relay, just 7.5 miles. Pilgrims track back upstream along the River Nar, before turning north at West Acre and climbing over the hill (we’re talking a serious 230 feet here!) to overnight at Gayton.
The pilgrims will be up early on Sunday, Day 9 of the Norfolk Tributary. They are expected for Sunday lunch at St. John the Evangelist Church, Kings Lynn! Then they are off to see the exhibition and tea at the Friends Meeting House; before the final multi-faith gathering on Purfleet Quay at 3 p.m..
Then we hand over to the crew from Diocese of Ely and again,
Day 7 leaves All the Saints at Litcham on Friday 27th August, gathering at 9.30 a.m. for a 9.45 a.m. briefing and a 10 a.m. prompt start. You could join them there or send prayers and letters to your MP and the Prime Minister with them.
From Litcham to Narborough the route tracks the course of the River Nar all the way to Narborough. It is a “green and pleasant land”! The arid regions of the Sahel already turning into desert because of climate change; the low-laying land of coral islands that will be lost as sea levels rise and the productive paddy growing rice fields of river deltas in Bangladesh and the Far East.
Half way on this, 11.5 mile long, day 7 of our relay is Castle Acre. In days past it was an important cross-road where the Roman Fen Causeway, running through Litcham and Lexham to Venta Icanorum (by Norwich), in one direction; and Peterborough, in the other; intersects with the Peddar’s Way, an ancient route to the south that the Roman’s re-engineered. Walsingham bound pilgrims came this way. The dedication Castle Acre church is to the patron saint of pilgrimage – St. James
The patron saint of pilgrimage is St. James. So its appropriate that our pilgrims will be stopping off at St. James Church, Castle Acre for refreshments before continuing on to Narborough for the night.
The destination for the final leg of the 9 day Norfolk COP26 Relay is Kings Square, Purfleet in Kings’ Lynn at 3 p.m. on Sunday 29th August. There will be a short multi-faith gathering focussed on the challenges of climate change. And the relay baton will be passed to activists from Ely Diocese who will take our baton on to join the main stream of the COP26 Relay, heading for the COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, meeting in Glasgow from October 31st – 12th November.
It will take the message that the people of the U.K., including us North Folk from Norfolk and Waveney don’t want any messing about. we need climate change action now!
We have been passing water! Our baton is a bottle of seawater – parts of Norfolk will be flooded as sea levels rise – from the beach at Great Yarmouth, carried in a discarded plastic bottle that had floated in on the tide. We send it with the instruction to pour it over the boat as it travels to Glasgow; and discard the bottle into a re-cycling bin!
The Norfolk COP26 Relay – Day 6 leaves St. Nicholas, Dereham on Thursday 26th August gathering at 9.30 a.m. for a 9.45 a.m. briefing and a 10 a.m. prompt start. You could join them there or send prayers and letters to your MP and the Prime Minister with them.
The climate change pilgrims will leave the catchment area of the rivers Wensum and Yare and cross the watershed, reaching the dizzy heights of 269 ft., to arrive in the catchment of the River Nar. Both Wensum and Nar are chalk fed streams and whole river SSSIs, cared for by the Norfolk Rivers Trust.
The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
Song of Songs 2.12
Well maybe not! Turtle Doves are the fastest declining species in the U.K. and threatened with extinction world wide. It is a blessing that local farmers are working with Operation Turtle Dove to reverse the trend. Pilgrims may choose to pause for awhile every now and then, to listen for turtle doves telltale purring and maybe catch a glimpse of one sitting on their chosen perch a dead leafless branch.
The care offered to migratory visitors will be very much appreciated as the pilgrims pass through Gressenhall , where refreshments are being served from the Reading Rooms. More care is being offered at Litcham where the overnighters will spend a quiet night with All the Saints at Litcham
The Norfolk COP26 Relay – Day 5 leaves Weston Longville Church gathering on Wednesday 25th at 9.30 a.m. for a 9.45 a.m. briefing and a 10 a.m. prompt start. You could join for the day or longer, or send prayers and letters to your MP and the Prime Minister with them.
Today’s leg takes pilgrims from Weston Longville to Swanton Morley where it parts company with the Walsingham Way and travels south to Dereham where St. Withburga founded a monastery in the 8th Century.
Now, the writer does not wish to stir up a storm in a tea cup. We have enough extreme weather conditions as a result of our current climate crisis! That’s why we’re walking. But, when we hand over our water from Great Yarmouth beach in a plastic bottle washed up on the beach and hand it on to Ely Young Christian Climate Activists , for them to pass it on to the core group heading north to COP26 Conference, can you ask them to let Dereham have their saint back please!
Monks from Ely came and dug up Withburga’s body in 794. In order to enshrine her body next to her saintly sister who had founded what is now Ely Cathedral as a monastery. No sooner had the theft been done that a miraculous spring welled up in the churchyard and can still be seen today.
The Norfolk COP26 Relay – Day 4 leaves St. Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich on Tuesday 24th gathering at 9.30 a.m. for a 9.45 a.m. briefing and a 10 a.m. prompt start. You could join them or send prayers and letters to your MP and the Prime Minister with them.
Today’s route leads pilgrims from the heart of the city, through suburbs and, sometimes edgy, housing estates, 12 miles to the village that the 18th Century diarist, Parson Woodforde, called home. Those who will be overnighting might be wondering what’s for tea?
“We had for dinner, the first Course, some Fish, Pike, a fine large piece of boiled Beef, Peas Soup, stewed Mutton, Goose Giblets, stewed, etc. Second Course, a brace of Partridges, a Turkey rosted, baked Pudding, Lobster, scalloped Oysters, and Tartlets. The desert black and white Grapes, Walnuts and small Nutts, Almonds and Raisins, Damson Cheese and Golden Pippins. Madeira, Lisbon, and Port Wines to drink. . . .”
The Rev’d James Woodforde – The Diaries of a Country Parson
The route follows the course of the River Wensum, criss-crossing the whole river SSSI four times; before a footbridge leads walkers across the gently flowing stream, to climb Royal Hill and take the quiet road that leads to Weston Longville. In the woods up ahead are the biggest tree roost of Barbastelle Bats in Europe. Who could possibly want to drive a four lane highway through this precious environment? Find the answers at Stop the Western Link.
Day 3 takes pilgrims on the Norfolk COP26 Multifaith Relay from Rockland St. Mary on the south bank of the River Yare into the City of Norwich upon Wensum. On the way they pass close to Whitlingham Sewerage Treatment Works. As they walk Christians may dwell on their baptism – water to cleanse and refresh. All might reflect on water in the climate crisis we are already facing – too much, floods in some places; too little, drought in others.
As they head up from the river to journeys end at St. Stephen’s and St. Peter, Mancroft churches they pass the front doors of St. Julian’s Church and the Julian Centre. This was the home of Mother Julian the still influential 15th Century Anchorite. Her contribution to the 21st Century Climate Crisis?
Today, the Norfolk COP26 Relay leaves Reedham and travels to Rockland St. Mary on the Walsingham Way .
Crossing the chain ferry at Reedham, they will climb away from the marshes to a dizzying height of 52 feet; before passing through the market town of Loddon, where St. Felix founded a church in the, then, royal vill of the East Anglian Kingdom. The will take a break at Chedgrave before travelling on to Rockland and encounter their first broad.
Broads were formed when water filled into holes left from the extraction of deep valley, wood rich, peat. Peat was the readily available fuel of choice in in 12th and 13th Century the predecessor of King Coal! We are still living with the legacy of this early carbon economy.
The COP26 Norfolk Tributary Relay starts off from Great Yarmouth this morning. Day 1 of a 9 day pilgrimage across the heart of Norfolk. They will be following the Walsingham Way from Great Yarmouth to Swanton Morley, before detouring to Dereham and thence, via Litcham, to Lynn.