Pilgrimage in Devizes
This is a personal account of a local ecumenical pilgrimage by Liz Overthrow, Secretary of Wiltshire Churches Together:
Liz writes: 'How many people in a small town have actually seen all the churches in that town? It was this that inspired to me, together with the annual National Heritage weekend, to attempt a Pilgrimage visiting every church in Devizes. I used the Ride and Stride event to highlight this event and managed to raise money for historic churches as well as my own church.
There are ten churches including Anglican, Methodist/URC, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Quaker and Pentecostal. I wanted to show people the wide range of Christians there are in this place and also give a little bit of history of each building as well as praying together. Bearing in mind the Reformation anniversary next year, it was enlightening to find out how the different denominations had developed over the centuries.
I led a pilgrimage around all ten churches. In our each church we had a bit of history, a five minute tour and a special prayer for the people who worship there. The whole thing took 2 hours and I did it in the morning and the afternoon. Unfortunately the rain did not let up all morning!
At the end of the journey, I gave each participant a bookmark. On one side was the list of churches we had visited and on the other this prayer:
who called your Church to bear witness,
that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:
help us to proclaim the good news of your love,
that all who hear it may be drawn to you;
through him who was lifted up on the cross,
and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen'