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Suffolk’s senior clergy on 80-mile pilgrimage across west Suffolk for lent

The bishops with the Rev Canon Sandie Barton and Worlington and Freckenham parishioners
The bishops with the Rev Canon Sandie Barton and Worlington and Freckenham parishioners

Two bishops are on the road as part of a ten-day pilgrimage to see first hand the challenges people face day to day.

Suffolk’s most senior Church of England clergyman, the Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, have been joined by members of the public on their Lent Pilgrimage around the county during which they have visited schools, businesses, a military base and a prison.

They will cover 80 miles on foot on a route concentrated in the west of the county meeting people from all walks of life in a bid to discover what issues locally are affecting residents.

Bishops Martin and Mike began their walk at St Stephen’s Church, Bures, last week and on Monday their pilgrimage brought them to Newmarket.

As well as visiting the Animal Health Trust in Kentford, they also passed through Red Lodge on their way to Worlington’s All Saints’ Church before spending the night in Freckenham where a social event was arranged in the village hall for villagers to meet the walkers.

“This will put us in touch with people and communities with far more time and being able to have conversations that don’t have an agenda to them,” said Bishop Martin.

“We are not turning up to a meeting, but we are meeting people and listening, so we hope to learn a whole lot more about how as Christians we can make a difference to others lives in Suffolk and also build on the excellent voluntary work that flourishes in our county.

“One of the things we noticed on last year’s pilgrimage around east Suffolk is that you have a different quality of conversation than if you were sitting facing one another.

“We are looking forward to seeing the enterprise and vitality that enables our Suffolk communities to thrive and the individuals that allow them to grow.”

Bishop Mike added: “A key role for a bishop is to be out and about meeting people and there’s no better way than to travel by foot, meeting everyone at grass roots level with the added bonus of taking in the Suffolk scenery.”

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