Carlisle Cathedral did us proud in sending us off on our pilgrimage in style. The rain was falling as we arrived just in time for the main Sunday service at the cathedral and we were quickly ushered to our places. They mentioned us in the notices, in the prayers and we were invited to the front just before the end (after singing ‘To be a pilgrim’) in order to bless us on our way.
The choir that day came from Shrewsbury Abbey and they encouraged us.
Then we were given our lunch by Michael Manley (one of the residentiary canons) and met two young people Julio and Sam.
Our first stop at a church to pray was St Michael and All Angels (Stanwix) where their youth worker Ben was just setting up for the forthcoming children’s holiday club.
Some of our route was a little damp but still passable and there was a good camaraderie amongst the walkers wading through it. Crosby church at the end of the first day’s walk was sadly locked – but the churchyard boasted a very handy bench to sit on and view the church.
The next day we were walking to the Augustinian Lanercost Priory. The Hadrian’s Wall route we used was not too exciting but the views of Lanercost as we approached were great. The Priory had been ravaged by the Scots and then de-roofed by Henry VIII. But the walls remained strong and it was later roofed and then beautified in the nineteenth century by one of the Howards from Castle Howard. Today it is well worth a visit.
The last day to date we were accompanied by the Hirst family (from Flamborough of all places!) who are walking the length of Hadrian’s Wall and trying 15 miles a day – much more than us.
Miles walked – 19
Churches visited – 4 open 2 locked
Kissing gates – 80
Accompanying walkers 4
Scrabble – Nancy 2 John 1