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.
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.