Bishop Graham’s prayer pilgrimage
10 July 2020
Bishop Graham undertook a pilgrimage of prayer for relief from the COVID-19 pandemic along the Walsingham Way from Norwich Cathedral to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, over three days.
“Pilgrimage is a meaningful journey to a sacred place. It provides the opportunity to step out of the non-stop busyness of our lives, to seek a time of quiet and reflection,” says Bishop Graham. “I’m intent on using this time to seek God’s heart and healing for all those affected by coronavirus. Do look out for me if I’m passing through your neighbourhood and please do all join me in praying during this time.”
Stopping to pray at some of the churches en route, Bishop Graham prayed for those who are mourning loved ones, as well as the effects of the pandemic on livelihoods and the economy. Sometimes he was joined by a member of the local clergy. His pilgrimage started with morning prayer at the Cathedral on Monday 13 July and a blessing by the Dean at 8 am outside the Cathedral west doors. The Bishop then walked through the city via Tombland and Colegate, then out through Drayton, Taverham and Ringland, ending the first day’s walk around 1 pm at Weston Longville Church.
His journey began again the next day with morning prayer at Weston Longville, then on through Lyng, Elsing and Swanton Morley, ending at North Elmham Cathedral ruin around 1 pm.
The final leg of the Bishop’s pilgrimage on Wednesday 15 July began from North Elmham with morning prayer, then continued through Great Ryburgh, Stibbard, Kettlestone, Little Snoring, Great Snoring, Little Walsingham and concluded at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham at around 3 pm.
You may like to use this prayer at some time during the Bishop’s pilgrimage:
A prayer for all those affected by coronavirus
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Having now completed his pilgrimage, Bishop Graham said:
“I am grateful for the time to have been able to walk the new pilgrim route from Norwich Cathedral to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham and for those who have welcomed me at churches along the way.
“This pilgrimage journey has enabled me to reflect more deeply upon these last few months during which, like so many others, I have been working at pace and handling complex issues. It has been a time to be at a different pace with God, to slow down, breath more deeply, and appreciate the beauty of the Norfolk countryside.
“At times along the way I’ve walked in the company of others, chatting things through or simply being in silence. In every church I’ve prayed for all affected by coronavirus, including those who are ill, those bereaved, and all who are living with anxiety and fear.
“I feel more rooted in the diocese as I’ve walked along lanes, beside rivers, through woodland, and entered some of our glorious rural churches. It has been a restorative and hope-filled journey as I have travelled in the direction of Walsingham, accompanied by a great cloud of witnesses who have gone in that direction down the centuries to seek God’s love and consolation, knowing, too, that that a pilgrimage isn’t complete until you return home, witnessing to that love and consolation in the days ahead.”