Bishop Martin reflects on his pilgrimage of prayer and hope around the Diocese.
“The font in my church has been dry for over a year.”
One of our faithful parish clergy was sharing on Zoom about how things were during the pandemic. It was such a powerful image of a dry and empty font, no water, no baptisms, no people in Covid affected churches.
As a new bishop in this diocese I had been in lockdown like everyone else and so many months ago I set aside twelve12 days when I could spend two days in each deanery on a Pilgrimage of Prayer and Hope, visiting as many churches and meeting as many people as I could.
Zoom meetings with Area Deans and Lay Chairs followed as they kindly arranged a schedule of visits for me, and on 29 September I set off to Droitwich to begin Day 1.
I travelled light, arriving at each church with my bishop’s staff in my hand, and with a bag containing simple orders of service; a bottle of holy water and a brush to use in a prayer of blessing at the door and at the font, and pilgrim prayer cards to leave behind in each place.
The twelve days are an experience I will never forget, with welcoming people and prayer filled churches opening their doors and hearts to me, wherever I went and providing me with some much needed refreshment along the way. There were evening gatherings in each deanery, and meals shared with Deanery Leadership Teams.
12 days and 106 churches later the Pilgrimage finally came to a close on St Andrew’s Day in St Andrew’s Church Wollescote in Greater Dudley Deanery. Thank you to everyone who prayed along with me or followed the journey on social media. I felt truly blessed!
Watch a short video of Bishop Martin's pilgrimage in Pershore and Evesham Deanery on Remembrance Day: