Benefice Eco Pilgrims

The group of walkers this January had an intrepid struggle with the mud, and arrived at their lunch stop in Bembridge muddy but unbowed! Once again, we saw our Island from a different perspective and through new eyes, and it was a lovely day – even though the weather was a little grey. Several of our group were inspired write accounts of the day:

Thursday 16th January, seven of us and two dogs, led by Ali, started our walk at St. Mary’s Church, Brading. Over Fatting Marshes, nestled in the beautiful valley of the lower River Yar, an important RSPB wetland. Then through Centurions Copse to the Windmill and into Bembridge, stopping at the Village Inn for coffee and picnic before visiting Holy Trinity Church. Round the harbour, up through Nodes Point holiday camp, and over the fields to the vicarage. An exhilarating and very muddy walk with much laughter and camaraderie. In spite of the cloudy and drizzly weather the churches and beautiful countryside were enjoyed by all.
Jane Dauncey

The Hymn of the January Pilgrims

Lead, kindly light beneath the thickening clouds,

Lead thou us on.

The day is dim, and we are far from home,

Lead thou us on.

Guide thou our feet, we squelch and slip and slide;

So keep us safe, be ever at our side.

All trees are bare, like skeletons they seem:

No sign of green.

Rivers flow brown, no crystal waters now,

Nor sign of swan.

We need thy light to brighten up our day;

For drier paths ahead, O lord, we pray.

We felt not always thus, nor prayed that thou

Shouldst lead us on.

In summer days our paths were clear, but now

They stream along.

We miss the sunlight, leafy trees, bright flowers;

New clouds suggest the chance of drenching showers.

So far thy power hath blest us, sure it still

Will lead us on.

Through mud and mire; o’er stiles, through gates, past mill,

Till walk is done.

As we accept the challenge of the day,

Help us endure the trials along our way.

Where gates reveal great pools of unknown depth,

Show us the way.

Where soggy bogs sink down our cautious steps,

Hold us, we pray.

Comfort our Sylvia, muddy through and through;

Sustain all those yearning for a brew.

And when at last a pub appears in sight,

Lead thou us on.

A cosy room may offer brief respite

For which we long.

Then, when lunch over, we must ramble on,

Renew our strength, and hearken to our song.

To Bembridge Church and to the tranquil lakes

Now lead us on.

O’er windswept causeway where wavelets break,

Lead safely on.

Till reaching lanes where heliotropes in bloom,

And pale pink flowers relieve the dull day’s gloom.

As boldly we tread, seven pilgrims on our way,

Thou leadest on.

Past ancient church, bathed now in towering spray,

Its centre gone.

Then crossing fields with wide open space,

We approach with joy our special sacred place.

‘Neath Mary’s spire to Helen’s square stone tower,

Thou hast led on.

With stories told and memories we shared,

We followed on.

Now on thy pilgrims thou must surely smile;

They’ve conquered all, mile after mile.

Sandra Kelly, January 16th 2020

The Next walk is

Thursday 20th February.

Leave St Helens Church at 10.30 and  walk to Quarr Abbey, via Holy Cross in Binstead.

Approximately 7 miles. Everyone welcome. Bring a pack lunch.

Contact Ali on 07500007437 for lifts and return pick ups.

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