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Buen Camino 5

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.

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

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!

Withburga’s Well at Dereham

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.

Buen Camino 4

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.

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

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.

Buen Camino 3

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?

From the Julian Centre


Travel Well Pilgrims

Buen Camino 2

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.

They will overnight at the Burning Bush Barn.

Local Rockland legend Ted Ellis describes the Broads as :-

A breathing space for the cure of souls

Ted Ellis

Travel well pilgrims.

Pray we may all tread gently on God’s Earth

May they find joy and hope

The Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham Usher, said:

“I walked the Walsingham Way last year at the end of the first lockdown.

see the earlier post

As I walked the lanes and fields of Norfolk there was an inner unwinding from the tensions of the pandemic. As I approached Walsingham I was conscious that I was in step with countless others through history, singing with Mary that ‘my spirit rejoices in God’. I hope that many people will put on their walking shoes and set out. May this new pilgrim route help them find joy and hope.’”

Feast of Julian of Norwich

On this wet and windy 8th May thoughts of a summer pilgrimage come to mind.

……….. the Wherryman’s Way may be walked as a pilgrim path in its own right, tracing Christianity’s development from 7th Century mission stations on the coast to the modern cathedral city Mother Julian called home.

And it can be undertaken on the water by boat….