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Sweet Briar Marshes

Might a donation towards this appeal be an act of devotion ?

Norfolk Wildlife Trust Appeal

Leaving Norwich pilgrims track the River Wensum as it winds a green corridor through edgy industrial and residential estates. Some of those with a devotion to Jesus’ mum, may be travelling with rosary beads in their back pockets. The Rosary derives its name from titles given to Mary Rosa Mystica or The Rose of Sharon that refer to Mary’s role as the final blossoming of Isaiah’s prophecy of the Jesse Tree – “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots” (Isaiah 11)

The Virgin and Child in a Red Rose, about 1480–1490, Tempera colors and gold leaf
Leaf: 11.9 × 17 cm (4 11/16 × 6 11/16 in.), Ms. 101 (2008.3), fol. 78v
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 101, fol. 78v

The native English Dog Rose, so abundant along the Walsingham Way, is not, so the experts tell me, an actual Sweet Briar but its very like. Like enough for this pilgrim’s mind to turn to Mary at the sight of a flower or bright red hips in the autumn hedgerows.

Baptism of Christ

For your prayers……

Rivers near and far are under threat from pollution and over extraction. True of the River Jordan and true of Norfolk’s rivers.

From the ‘Holkham Bible Picture Book’© The British Library

As Christ was baptised in the Jordan, it is imagined that the first Christians in East Anglia were baptised in rivers, as Paulinus baptised Northumbrian converts in the River Glen.

Walking the Walsingham Way, from Norwich to Great Ryburgh in the Wensum Valley to the healing waters of the Walsingham Shrine beside the River Stiffkey; a pilgrims own baptism and the promise of “living water, welling up to eternal life” is often a recurring theme.

In a post COP26 world caring for the creation has to be the concern of all people of good will

The good news is ………

Improving the condition of our rivers is the concern of the Norfolk Rivers Trust

A threat ….

A controversial new road linking roads north and south of the River Wensum would cut across the route of the Walsingham Way.

Stop the Wensum Link

The case against it is argued by Stop the Wensum Link , the case for by Norfolk County Council

2021 Review of the Year


Lockdown kept many pilgrims close to home. Back gardens, parks and local churches in the landscape took on new significance. In the nick of time, an unexpected, last of E.U. money grant, enabled us to waymark the Norwich to Walsingham leg. It was exciting to see the new finger posts appearing appeared along the route.


March and April

And then the scramble to finalise, waymark and publish the first and last bits of the route – from each of Norwich’s two cathedrals

……………………………………….to Walsingham direct, or via the Slipper Chapel.

And, because pilgrims need to sleep and feed, an initial amenities map .

Mary’s Month of May

The Launch

Launch of the Walsingham Way at Walsingham Abbey. Elizabeth Meath Baker, centre, with from left: Father Kevin Smith, Gail Mayhew, Revd Dr Peter Doll and Mgr Philip Moger. Photograph: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

The Summer : COP 26 Norfolk Relay

Enabled by the WW team, Norfolk climate crisis pilgrimage followed our already established routes from Great Yarmouth to Norwich and on to Dereham; then used Norfolk Trail’s Cross Norfolk Route to Lynn.

Along the way church communities stepped up to welcome pilgrims as they crossed the heart of Norfolk and prayed for COP 26 Conference.

The Autumn

In spite of the the can we/ can’t we COVID dance, some little progress has been made towards:

Autumn also found us playing catchup once again as people asked, “Is there something about the WW in print?” A first attempt at an answer is available to downloadable from the website. Something more worthy of a print run is being prepared

Connecting to the Norfolk Trails Network

Norfolk Trails are a brilliant network and dovetail well with the Walsingham Way. The Great Yarmouth to Norwich leg follows the Wherryman’s Way. The Norwich to Walsingham leaves Norwich on the Marriott’s Way before turning off to cross the River Wensum at Ringland. Walsingham Pilgrims can arrive and leave Walsingham via the Coast Path and this route between Walsingham and Wells.

Buen Camino 8 & 9

Norfolk COP26 Relay

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.

How to sign up to walk for one or more days  Clues for letter writing

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,

Buen Camino

Buen Camino 7

Norfolk COP26 Relay

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.

How to sign up to walk for one or more days Clues for letter writing

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.

Norfolk COP 26 Tributary Relay

Our Destination

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!

At the start of Day 4 – Canon Ed Carter passes on the baton

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!

Buen Camino 6

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.

How to sign up to walk for one or more days Clues for letter writing

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