St Faith's Church, Walsworth, Hitchin
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St Faith's Easter Pilgrimage, April 2009

Easter Monday, 13th April 2009 was the date of this year's pilgrimage to St Alban's Abbey.

A group of about 15 of us from St Faith's and St Mark's started the day at just after 7pm from the Three Moorhens in Hitchin.

It is a very interesting route, mainly along cross-country footpaths and taking in interesting sites such as Minsden Chapel (which cannot be reached by car) and the lovely churches of Kimpton and St Paul's Walden.  Roger and Naomi led us ably as last year, for which we were grateful!

We were also thankful for refreshments, provided by Joy and Shirley at Wheathapstead which put us in good spirits for the final march through Sandridge and the long hill up into St Albans and the finally the Abbey.

The walk was about 17 miles (according to my pedometer) or 15 miles based on Roger's GPS device - so most of us agreed on the former - it certainly felt like a full17 miles!

According to tradition, we are always late for the procession into the Abbey, but we were there just in time for the start of the service at 3pm which is held in the Nave, cleared of chairs and full of pilgrims who have travelled from all points of the diocese.  The service was led by our suffragan bishops of Bedford and Hertford, who frankly could do good business as a comedy double act - working perfectly off each other - more like Morecombe and Wise actually (which is which I hear you ask!)

The upbeat service was on the theme "Bursting  with Life" and featured bursting of balloons and some rousing hymns. As usual we all received a badge to mark the occasion and left the Abbey by motorised transport, tired but invigorated.

Michael Woodward

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