There is the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of countless pilgrims and join an ecumenical pilgrimage to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk this May, starting on the Norfolk Broads or in Ely.
As part of the celebrations to mark the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund, two walks will trace the routes taken by the first Benedictine monks who came from St Benet’s in Norfolk and Ely in Cambridgeshire to found the Abbey in Bury St Edmunds.
For the more adventurous, the 80-mile walk from St Benet’s on the Norfolk Broads starts on Monday 18 May at Ludham with a boat trip across the river Bure. Travelling via Norwich (stopping at the Julian shrine) and Diss (stopping at St Henry Morse Catholic church) the walkers will reach Bury St Edmunds five days later.
A second route starts at Ely Cathedral early on the morning of Thursday May 21, and makes its ways to Bury St Edmunds via Mildenhall and Icklingham. This shorter route is about 30 miles.
Both pilgrimages converge on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds and conclude with Evensong in the Abbey ruins. Accommodation, breakfast and dinner is provided and a support vehicle will be on hand to carry luggage. Day walkers are welcome.
“This is a joint venture between St Edmundsbury Cathedral and St Edmund’s RC Church in Bury St Edmunds – both partners in the Abbey 1000 celebrations,” said Sarah Friswell, PR Manager at the Cathedral. “We hope that this will be time of reflection and renewal for those who make the pilgrimage and those communities through which the pilgrims pass.”
Pictured above are pilgrims on St Edmunds Way between Bures and Lamarsh.