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Bishops aim for a greater understanding of county from Lent pilgrimage

PUBLISHED: 13:47 06 March 2019

A crowd of well-wishers prepare to see the Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, start their Lent Pilgrimage Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

A crowd of well-wishers prepare to see the Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, start their Lent Pilgrimage Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

Archant

Two bishops have set off on a 90-mile pilgrimage across Suffolk to discover more about the people, community activities and businesses that help the county flourish.

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, set off on their annual Lent Pilgrimage Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHYThe Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, set off on their annual Lent Pilgrimage Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, are inviting the public to walk with them during their annual Lent Pilgrimage.

This year they are concentrating on the north of the diocese where they are keen to meet the talented people who are running some extraordinary community and business enterprises.

They started their walk yesterday after an Ash Wednesday Ashing Service and Eucharist on Southwold Pier.

Bishop Martin said: ‘‘One of the delights of our walks is to discover the extraordinary industries scattered across the county, making an impact nationally and internationally, which we who live here are often unaware of.

A quick selfie before the Rt Rev Martin Seeley and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison set off from Southwold on their 10-day walk Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHYA quick selfie before the Rt Rev Martin Seeley and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison set off from Southwold on their 10-day walk Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

‘‘It’s meeting the people that is the gift for us, sharing for a moment in their lives, catching a little of what their world of work is about, their passions, their hopes and dreams.

‘‘Perhaps more than anything else I do, these ten days each year shape my understanding of Suffolk, and of how I can better serve people here.

‘‘These walks give me a deepening sense of both the gifts of so many in our county, but also the needs and challenges, often hidden, that people face daily.

‘‘The one thing I always try to do after trekking across our beautiful county is to help connect the gifts of one person, with the needs of another of those I meet. To make connections between people, and to make a real difference in these uncertain times.’’

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, prepare for their annual Lent Pilgrimage Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHYThe Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, prepare for their annual Lent Pilgrimage Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

Bishop Mike said: ‘‘I anticipate we will come away heartened by the amazing innovative nature of various businesses, charities and agencies in rural Suffolk and encouraged by the wonderful commitment of many to rural churches.

‘‘It’s also a great way for us to be more informed about the joys and challenges facing people in their different lives right across Suffolk.’’

Their route includes Redisham, Bungay, Metfield, Fressingfield, Eye, Rickinghall, Ixworth and Bacton before they finish on 16 March at Stowmarket.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum at Flixton, Wyken Vineyard near Rickinghall and the Pakenham Water Mill are among the attractions they will visit.

Each day will start and end at a church and on Sunday, March 10, Bishop Martin will be at the Sunday Service at 9.30am at St John the Baptist, Metfield, while Bishop Mike will be at the Contemporary Service at 11am at St Peter and St Paul, Fressingfield.

The itinerary also includes a Mass with Eye Primary School and the parish at St Peter and St Paul, Eye, on March 12.

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