St Peter & St Paul's Newsletter - May 2023

Letter from Revd Helen Burnett.

The month of May at St Peter and St Paul’s has come to be associated with walking, this habit of a Parish Pilgrimage began as a result of two things:

  • Our church’s place at the half way point on the Pilgrim Way from Winchester to Canterbury.
  • A very successful Lent Course based on a film ‘The Way’ about group of pilgrims walking the Camino to Santiago.

In response to these 2 things, in 2019, a group of 12 walked from Chaldon to Canterbury and the plan was to do the other half the following year but then Covid hit…

Undeterred, in the 2020 lockdown we used our individual daily exercise as a form of Pilgrimage, meeting on line each evening to reflect on the words of Mother Julian of Norwich and to share our experiences of solitary walking. In the 2021 lockdown it was permissible to walk in groups but staying together overnight was not possible so we did a series of daily walks around our area. Then at last in 2022 we were able to walk the second half of the Pilgrim Way from Chaldon to Winchester.

The habit of walking together with hearts set on God, and within God’s glorious landscapes, following in the footsteps of the saints has touched many hearts and minds over the centuries and is experiencing a renaissance in the UK today.

Having completed the walk on our doorstep, this year 20 pilgrims from a variety of local churches are setting out to walk in the footsteps of St Cuthbert.

Cuthberts story is far too long for this newsletter; he was a monk and an abbot in the 7th Century who was constantly seeking to leave the world behind and constantly being drawn back into the world.

Although not all can afford the time or have the physical capacity for the walking you can still join in from home as we explore the Northumbrian landscape and discover the traditions of Celtic Christianity of which Cuthbert was such a cornerstone.

If you would like to follow us there is a WhatsApp group you can join where there will be daily updates and we may even manage to share in occasional moments of worship via zoom. Join by following this link:

You can also support us by sponsoring the pilgrims who are dedicating their walk to Christian Aid (see details below).