Ecumenical Pilgrimage

To mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Midlands Church leaders will take part in a walk of friendship on Saturday 23 September 2017. The walk will begin at the Midlands hub of the Catholic Church – the Metropolitan Cathedral Church and Basilica of St Chad, Birmingham – and end at the historic mother-church of Mercia, the Anglican Cathedral of St Mary and St Chad, Lichfield .

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Reliquary containing relics of St Chad. St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham,

Route

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St Chad’s Cathedral. Queensway, Birmingham

On Saturday 23 September, pilgrims will leave St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham and walk northwards for three miles along canal towpaths, passing underneath ‘Spaghetti Junction.’ They will walk for four miles along cycle paths and greenways through Brookvale Park, past Witton Lakes and on to Bannersgate. The pilgrimage route continues northwards through the entire length of Sutton Park, before following the Roman Road to reach St Peter’s (Anglican) Church, Little Aston. Here walkers will be able to take a short lunch break, having completed eleven miles of walking.

Leaving St Peter’s Church and crossing the A454 Walsall Road, the walk continues north through country lanes and fields, passing underneath the M6 Toll Road and A5 Wall Bypass. Following Ashcroft Lane, Wall Lane and Claypit Lane, pilgrims arrive at Lichfield and proceed to the Cathedral of St Mary and St Chad.

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Lichfield Cathedral

Timings

Bearing in mind that timings in such a pilgrimage can only be approximate, the plan is as follows:

8.15am – St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham, will open its doors to welcome pilgrims. Drinks and toilets will be available.

9.00am – A short gathering and blessing will herald the start of the pilgrimage. Groups of walkers will leave at five-minute intervals.

1.30pm – Short lunch stop at St Peter’s Church, Little Aston, where drinks and toilet facilities will be available.

2.15pm – Depart from St Peter’s, Church

4.45pm – Arrive at the Cathedral of St Mary and St Chad, Lichfield

5.00pm – Short official welcome ceremony outside the West Door of the Cathedral

Health and safety 

In order to enable the safe participation of those who wish to join the Church leaders on the pilgrimage, walkers will be arranged into groups of no more than 30 people each, under the direction of a group leader. It is imperative that those wishing to participate in the pilgrimage agree to follow the directions of their respective group leader.

Individuals, couples and/or small groups who apply to join the pilgrimage do so on the understanding that they will be asked to join a larger group of walkers. Where a church-based rambling group applies to join the pilgrimage, the leader of the rambling group will be requested to act as walk leader for that group.

To request an application form to join the pilgrimage, please click here.

Photographs (c) 2017, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: hold us close…

Living Eucharist

Jazz, Negresco Nice 2013

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.

O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
and all nations learn your saving help.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and exult
for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples,
you guide the nations on earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
till the ends of the earth revere him.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.

Psalm 66:2-3,5-6,8

The Responsorial Psalm for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The…

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Speak Lord: source of love for all

Living Eucharist

Ancient Agora of Athens from Areopagus Hill

Let me tell you pagans this: I have been sent to the pagans as their apostle, and I am proud of being sent, but the purpose of it is to make my own people envious of you, and in this way save some of them. Since their rejection meant the reconciliation of the world, do you know what their admission will mean? Nothing less than a resurrection from the dead! God never takes back his gifts or revokes his choice.

Just as you changed from being disobedient to God, and now enjoy mercy because of their disobedience, so those who are disobedient now – and only because of the mercy shown to you – will also enjoy mercy eventually. God has imprisoned all men in their own disobedience only to show mercy to all mankind.

Romans 11:13-15,29-32
The Second reading for 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Paul continues the reflection on…

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Speak Lord: but listen first…

Living Eucharist

DSC00117 WOman of Sidon, St Nicholas Chapel, Kings Lynn, 2016

Jesus left Gennesaret and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Then out came a Canaanite woman from that district and started shouting, ‘Sir, Son of David, take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil.’ But he answered her not a word. And his disciples went and pleaded with him. ‘Give her what she wants,’ they said ‘because she is shouting after us.’

He said in reply, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ But the woman had come up and was kneeling at his feet. ‘Lord,’ she said ‘help me.’ He replied, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ She retorted, ‘Ah yes, sir; but even house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table.’

Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, you have great faith. Let your wish be granted.’…

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Taste and See: The Lord present

Living Eucharist

IMG_6189 Bienealle Venice 2008

When Elijah reached Horeb, the mountain of the Lord, he went into the cave and spent the night in it. Then he was told, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’

Then the Lord himself went by. There came a mighty wind, so strong it tore the mountains and shattered the rocks before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there came the sound of a gentle breeze. And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

1 Kings 19:9,11-13
First reading for 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

St Irenaeus spoke of the Sacraments as loud…

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Taste and See: Called to be one.

Living Eucharist

DSC05548 St Paul Walker Gallery 2008

What I want to say now is no pretence; I say it in union with Christ – it is the truth – my conscience in union with the Holy Spirit assures me of it too. What I want to say is this: my sorrow is so great, my mental anguish so endless, I would willingly be condemned and be cut off from Christ if it could help my brothers of Israel, my own flesh and blood.

They were adopted as sons, they were given the glory and the covenants; the Law and the ritual were drawn up for them, and the promises were made to them. They are descended from the patriarchs and from their flesh and blood came Christ who is above all, God for ever blessed! Amen.

Romans 9:1-5
Second reading on 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Our world is still hobbled by the fact of man’s cruelty to…

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Taste and See: faith alive

Living Eucharist

DSC00114a St Nicholas CHapel Kings Lynn 2016

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he would send the crowds away. After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, while the boat, by now far out on the lake, was battling with a heavy sea, for there was a head-wind. In the fourth watch of the night he went towards them, walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost’ they said, and cried out in fear.

But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ It was Peter who answered. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ ‘Come’ said Jesus. Then Peter got out…

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Speak Lord: in loud silence

Living Eucharist

DSC02596 Lerins, 2013

When Elijah reached Horeb, the mountain of the Lord, he went into the cave and spent the night in it. Then he was told, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’

Then the Lord himself went by. There came a mighty wind, so strong it tore the mountains and shattered the rocks before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there came the sound of a gentle breeze. And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

1 Kings 19:9,11-13
First reading for 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Hopefully it is not wrong to suggest that…

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