Priest’s pilgrimage following ancient path of the faithful

Poppyland Benefice Rector, Rev'd Canon David Roper, is reviving the ancient tradition of Pilgrimage.

Poppyland Benefice Rector, Rev'd Canon David Roper, is reviving the ancient tradition of Pilgrimage. He is walking his seven parishes: starting from Antingham on Tuesday morning 10th May, passing through Southrepps, and finishing in Trimingham on Thursday afternoon 12th May. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Centuries ago it formed part of a route followed by the faithful in a display of religious devotion.

Poppyland Benefice Rector, Rev'd Canon David Roper, is reviving the ancient tradition of Pilgrimage.

Poppyland Benefice Rector, Rev'd Canon David Roper, is reviving the ancient tradition of Pilgrimage. He is walking his seven parishes: starting from Antingham on Tuesday morning 10th May, passing through Southrepps, and finishing in Trimingham on Thursday afternoon 12th May. Pictured from left James Tulley, Katherine Tulley, Jan Balfour and Rev'd Canon David Roper.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Now a parish priest is walking in the footsteps of medieval wayfarers on a pilgrimage of prayer.

Canon David Roper has embarked on a three-day journey between the seven churches in his group of north Norfolk parishes.

During that time he will be treading paths taken by worshippers in the middle ages to the holy shrine at Walsingham.

He will also pass the stump cross at Southrepps, the remnants of a wayside marker on ancient pilgrimage routes. Canon Roper was inspired to undertake the pilgrimage to bring his parishes closer together and mark his first six months as rector of the Poppyland group of parishes.


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He set out on the 14-mile Poppyland Prayer Pilgrimage yesterday, walking from Antingham to Thorpe Market and Southrepps. Today he is due to visit Northrepps and Overstrand and will finish the endeavour walking the cliffs between Sidestrand and Trimingham.

Canon Roper said: 'We will be engaging in prayer for all seven parishes and helping people to get to know one another.'

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As well as pausing for prayer and reflection at each church, Canon Roper is hoping to be joined by pupils from local primary schools to walk sections of the route.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have invited churches to engage in prayer between Ascension and Pentecost Sunday, on May 15, which marks the descent of the Holy Spirit on Christ's disciples.

Have you got a church story? Email miles.jermy@archant.co.uk

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