Two ‘Wise Men’ on an Epiphany pilgrimage
Rev John Luscombe and curate Steve Jones, known as the Two Wise Men, are setting off on a sponsored Epiphany Pilgrimage to visit all nine churches of the Totnes Mission Community this Friday and Saturday, 5 and 6 January. They are raising funds for their ‘Windows of Opportunity’ project at St John’s Church, Bridgetown, to replace 10 windows and to install a new kitchen and toilets.
Retired priest John explained: “The need to fix the windows at St John’s has been an ongoing issue for at least 20 years. When the church was restored after a fire in 1976 the ten windows on the north and south sides of the church were replaced in the traditional style with timber frames with a fibre-glass coating. This was the most economic option at the time, but unfortunately they haven’t lasted well.
“After the fire it was restored as a multi-purpose building. The congregation really do have a sense that it is their vocation to serve the local community. Sponsorship seemed like a good idea. I am quite a keen walker and knew that there were others around who also enjoyed walking. Steve and I looked at dates, and it ended up on the Epiphany weekend – a perfect occasion to hang it on. So we styled ourselves as the two wise men and the idea seems to have taken off.”
The 24-mile route has been planned to stay away from roads and traffic as much as possible and John and Steve are looking for other Wise Men and Women to join them in the challenge, either the full two days or smaller sections, or to be at the churches to join in the Pilgrim Liturgy.
A total of £70,000 is needed to meet the £280,000 total cost of the project. A £148,000 grant has been awarded from the Heritage Lottery Fund and they have secured some other small grants.
John finishes: “About 15/16 of us will set out from Stoke Gabriel on Friday, but others will join us at various points along the way. We shall be saying some pilgrim prayers in each church, and I am hoping that we shall see it as a pilgrimage in a real sense and not just a ramble. I think it’s going to be a spiritual event as well as a fund-raiser.”
To support the project go to www.justgiving.com/John-and-Steve