Bishop Pual and Rosemary wake from their night sleeping in St Mary Magdalene Church in Trimdon, enjoying a cup of tea.

The Bishop of Durham and The Bishop of Jarrow have completed the second of four inaugural pilgrimage routes this weekend.

The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham and The Rt Revd Sarah Clark, Bishop of Jarrow set off with a group of pilgrims and the Northern Saints Trail Coordinator David Pott from St Hilda’s Church Hartlepool on Friday walking through Hart, Hesleden, Wingate, Camping overnight in Trimdon and then on to Kelloe, Cassop and arriving at Durham Cathedral on Saturday afternoon.

Bishop Paul and wife Rosemary camped inside St Mary Magdalene Church in Trimdon, whilst Bishop Sarah stayed in St Alban’s Trimdon Grange and David Pott camped outside one of the Churches. The arrangements for staying overnight and the walking were all done with complete adherence to COVID protocols to ensure the safety of the party.

Along the route, the pilgrims prayed at various locations and stopped off to stamp their pilgrimage passports and to explore significant places of cultural and Christian heritage.

Bishop Paul was presented with the last working miniature Davey Lamps commissioned by St Helen’s Church member Ralph Walton in the 1970’s. Ralph was 14 when he joined the NCB and ended his career as Chief Engineer at many of the region’s pits. He commissioned the 3 miniature lamps from local Tursdale NCB Works and presented the other lamps to Lord Robens and Sir Derek Ezra when each was Chairman of the NCB.

Joining with the pilgrims was seeker of asylum, Mamoud Nyelenkeh. He said: “I wanted to join in this pilgrimage to find out more of the Christian heritage of the country I want to make my home and of the region that I now live in. I wanted to understand and immerse myself in Christian beliefs and to find out more. At this time of Ramadan, not eating during the day and walking long distances was a challenge, but the experience was absolutely amazing. I would encourage others to get out and do these regardless of their beliefs – what an amazing experience it has been.”

Bishop Paul commented: “The rain will not dampen our spirits, this second inaugural pilgrimage was again a thoroughly rewarding experience and I can’t wait for the next one. We have as always, experienced some inspirational stories of the people and of the welcome that is so much part of this region.”

Bishop Paul, Bishop Sarah, Rosemary and David Pott will join another group of Pilgrims on the Way of Learning starting on May 16th from St Paul’s Church Jarrow. On the Way of Learning, they joined by the writer and broadcaster Sheridan Voysey. Full details and information on registration on the final two pilgrimages can be found here: https://durhamdiocese.org/bishop-leads-the-way-on-rescheduled-pilgrimage-trails/

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