The Parish Walk
Walking the Parish
There has been a long tradition of “beating the bounds” of the parish at Rogationtide. This was a mix of civic value – establishing exactly where they were vis-à-vis the neighbouring boundaries – and prayer for a good harvest. It is worth updating this idea, and not only for the rural, but also for the urban church.
It can be very enlightening to walk the streets of the parish in pairs or groups, to take a look at, for example, what sort of state the housing or streets are in, or whether it is easy to navigate the pavements with a wheelchair, or where the young people congregate in groups. This can be both part of a practical survey, as we see things we hadn’t registered before, and the development of our worship and spirituality as it feeds our prayer.
Like the desk-based survey and the parish mapping exercise, the parish walk helps identify some of the questions we might ask when we move outside the church’s membership and begin to consult the community.