The opportunity of a nice gentle walk from Redbourn in Hertfordshire, through the picturesque water meadows and woods into St Albans on an April Easter Monday was offered to members of the congregations. The fearless five (and Lottie the dog) set off from St Mary’s Redbourn at 11:00 am, walking with a group of pilgrims from different parishes and different traditions in high spirits and looking forward to a great day.
The heavy rain of the previous few days had eased off to what the Met Office call “light rain and gentle breeze” but the going under foot was “soft to waterlogged” as we followed the planned route. It was the toughest, wettest pilgrimage walk I can remember but we all made it intact (even after a few slips, slides and even falls) and in time for our picnic lunch inside the abbey rather than outside in the park land. We then moved back outside to form a procession into the abbey with pilgrims from all over the diocese and further afield including walkers from Cambridge and visitors from Canada, Columbia and Slovakia.
I may have got the weather wrong for our walk, but we enjoyed the most amazing act of worship in the abbey, sitting on the floor, standing side by side with other pilgrims, waving hands in the air and seeing Parish banners waving proudly around us as the music and joy of Easter filled the Abbey. It was the most amazing day and reflecting back on our experience now – it was made more special by the challenges and effort it took us to get there and the friends we made on the journey.
Easter Monday 2019 is 22nd April (3 weeks later) – I cannot guarantee perfect weather, but I can promise another amazing day – The now seasoned 3 Churches pilgrims think we need a banner for next year, think that could be a next project!!
Rev Ian Smith