Pilgrimage 2009: Monday 2 March 2009

March 5, 2009 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

Beginning The Pilgrimage

Today I set out on the first leg of my journey to some of the poorest communities in Leicester and Leicestershire during Lent.  Waiting for the bus at The Haymarket in the centre of the city, I noticed that just round the corner was Humberstone Gate – the site of the Christ in the Centre drama each Good Friday.  Here was the scene of the acted crucifixion, just in the place where I was setting out on my Lent pilgrimage.  Five weeks later I shall be back for the climax of the Lent story.  The bus took me to Stocking Farm where I said morning prayer in the church and then spent a morning with an Old People’s group happily visiting a garden centre!  At lunchtime a conversation with health professionals from the housing estates in the North of the city.  They spoke of some of the pressures mounting on people’s health as recession bites, some of the anxieties and challenges that face the most vulnerable communities.  Then on to visit parishioners in their homes suffering with depression or other forms of disability.  It was a reminder of how precious the Church’s ministry, and especially that of the clergy can be to people whose lives are isolated, fragile and lonely.  The day culminated with a confirmation at a community centre on the Mowmacre Estate where local people gathered and four new Christians committed themselves to Christ.  I left with a sense of the courage and resilience of many people whose lives are difficult and disadvantaged.  And with a strong sense of the priceless value of Christian ministry.

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Time to go home Pilgrimage 2009: Wednesday 4 March

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