Exe Estuary Pilgrimage Brings Light After Lockdown
A Devon vicar and former Royal Marine is leading a one-day walking pilgrimage from Exeter Cathedral to Exmouth to celebrate the re-opening of church buildings after lockdown and raise money for charity.
The Reverend Steve Jones and others will set off from the cathedral on Saturday 11 July, following a short service led by Canon James Mustard and a blessing by the Bishop of Exeter.
They will be carrying a candle lit from the Cathedral’s Paschal (Easter) candle and vials of Holy oil.
The oil was blessed by Bishop Robert during the Chrism Eucharist service on Maundy Thursday.
Carrying the flame from the Cathedral
Normally hundreds of clergy from across Devon attend the service at the Cathedral and collect Holy oil to use in their own churches throughout the year.
This year that was not possible because of the coronavirus lockdown.
Now, the pilgrims will visit each of the Anglican churches along the Exe Estuary to pass on the flame from the Cathedral and deliver some of the Holy oils.
They will also visit the Royal Marine Commando training centre at Lympstone on the trip, which is raising money for local foodbanks and for the churches along the route.
“Ancient pilgrim routes criss-cross our county and we are making new ones as we emerge out of lockdown and recover our sense of direction in life.” Bishop Robert Atwell
Reverend Jones, who served in the Falklands, said, “The pilgrimage will be a visible sign for our estuary communities of vibrant spiritual life flowing back into the heart of our towns and villages after lockdown.
“We hope it will help to build closer relationships between the Cathedral and the church communities along the estuary and deepen our connections with Lympstone and the chaplains working there.”
The Bishop of Exeter, the Right Reverend Robert Atwell, said, “Our generation is rediscovering the transforming experience of pilgrimage.
“Ancient pilgrim routes criss-cross our county and we are making new ones as we emerge out of lockdown and recover our sense of direction in life.
“This Saturday I pray that these Devon pilgrims will be renewed in faith, hope and love.”
The pilgrimage will cover about 14 miles and visit seven churches, finishing at the Reverend Jones’ church of St Margaret and St Andrew’s in Littleham, Exmouth.
Afterwards, the estuary pilgrimage will become one of the routes incorporated into the Devon Pilgrim initiative, being launched soon by the Diocese of Exeter’s Growing the Rural Church team.
If you would like to take part in the pilgrimage please emailReverend Steve Jones.