Pilgrimage

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As the Superintendent of an 18 church circuit I wondered how I was going to get around to each congregation & meet with people; how do I get a picture of the area? How do we encourage relationships between churches? It seemed like a mammoth task and yet the answer has come in the simplest & most unexpected of ways — walk!

Earlier in the year I had the idea that I might walk from church to church throughout the month of May; stop at each for some worship & hospitality and hopefully meet with local congregations. Arthur Sara, the circuit layworker, and I poured over maps and neatly divided the 18 churches into threes....that was 6 days walking and then let the churches know what was happening. Although generally supportive there was still a degree of scepticism, not least from me as I wondered if anyone would actually be there to greet me in each location.

However,I can honestly say that the Circuit Pilgrimage has being beyond my hopes & expectations.

For a start I have always had companions for my journey; people who have chosen to walk with me; many I did not know before we set off but who by the end were firm friends. We have shared stories; laughed & joked as well as talked about the deep things of life.

Secondly I have seen the area in a way that you do not when you only drive through; beautiful countryside; small rural communities; snippets of local history and an awareness of the diversity of need & opportunity in the area that the Vale of Aylesbury Circuit covers. And of course the real joy has being to learn of the area from the real experts — those who live in it.

Thirdly in every place we have stopped we have being offered generous hospitality. It has been wonderful to drink tea & eat cake with so many people from across the circuit. Thank you!

And finally in and through all these things we have known we are in the presence of Christ.

Helen

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