There are 261 churches in the Ramsbury Suffragan See (which being translated is the area for which I am responsible). So I visited another ten today and said prayers with people from each church.
Twenty miles of slippery mud with sun shining. Tea and cake and a warm welcome. Heartfelt prayers and invitations to come back. Southwick church, built in 1904, has a complete baptistery built-in which I think must be one of the very few in the Church of England. North Bradley housed the remains of the mother of a fifteenth century Archbishop of Canterbury. All the churches were loved and cared for.
Walking is the best way to do a pilgrimage walk. Cycling is next to Godliness. But walking slows the mind and sharpens the senses in a deeper way. Several people joined me and it is always good to stroll along and exchange stories.
I was surprised how many of the footpaths were closed or obstructed. I can understand people (not all farmers) not wanting people coming across their land treading on crops, leaving litter, leaving gates open. But if the ancient rights of way are blocked with electric fences barbed wire brambles rose thorns and locked gates as they were today the all that happens is that people will wander further over the land trying to find a possible route. My trip was planned on the Ordanance Survey 1:25000 maps which clearly mark footpaths and bridleways, but there were many times when I simply could not find the path. Frustrating. We depend on each other. Town depends on country and vice versa.
The mud today was frequently over my boots. Several times I had to lever my feet out of the sticky clay.
Thanks also for comments on the blog. Very encouraging. And useful. I know now that I must look for a Brompton dealer with two sprockets to get my rear triangle mended. Essential info.