Journeying to the Ancient Future
- Love. St Cuthbert was a man of great compassion. He reached out to the needy and marginalised, especially when he travelled to remote parts of Northumbria where people were illiterate and very poor. As we seek to follow St Cuthbert’s example, we will be supporting the charity Feeding Families.
- Life. The original stories of Cuthbert are about the way he seemed to live on after his death. It was said that his body had not decomposed when they opened his coffin before interring him at Durham Cathedral, more than 300 years after his death. Although we will be carrying a coffin, we will be talking about life. Gospel means ‘good news’, so we will be carrying the good news that if we follow the example of St Cuthbert in following Jesus Christ, we will know life in all its fulness!
- Light. A 10th century poem describes how through St Cuthbert “God's shed His radiance gleaming across the water and Britain.” His life was suitably celebrated through a great illuminated manuscript. Light for us is therefore associated with creativity and we want to encourage creative responses to the pilgrimage especially through decorative handwriting.
- The North East Religious Learning Resources Centre
- The Northumbria Community
- The Auckland Project
- The Friends of the Finchale Camino
How you can get involved..
- You can join the pilgrimage for days or half days, bringing your own food and making your own transport or other arrangements. We will publish more detailed information about where to join the pilgrimage by early August.
- We will welcome some people to assist with carrying the coffin which is likely to be a moving experience. It would be best to find a partner of about the same height. If you would like to apply please use the contact details.
- We will be looking for accommodation for the core team of 8 people and if you are able to help or know others close to the route who might be able to help with this please contact us.
What we can offer schools and youth groups
A presentation at the school either before or when the pilgrimage passes by your school. At that presentation or when the pilgrimage passes your school, we hope to show facsimile editions of The Lindisfarne Gospels and St Cuthbert’s Gospel of St John. The two books make a striking contrast with the bejewelled Lindisfarne Gospels weighing nearly 9 kgms and St Cuthbert’s Gospel only measuring 14 x 9cms. Some pupils will be able to handle these books. On the pilgrimage itself pupils will be able to see the specially made replica of St Cuthbert's coffin
Our hope is that the Lindisfarne Gospels will be a starting point for learning about calligraphy and for inspiring creative responses from pupils, such as decorative handwriting expressing hopes and prayers for peace. There are parallels between the Viking incursions and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Some of the children's work will be displayed on online galleries on the Durham and Newcastle Dioceses facebook pages. We hope work by pupils might also be displayed in churches and community centres along the route after the pilgrimage.
We shall be able to supply some resources in connection with the Lindisfarne Gospels through our partnership with the Religious Learning Resources Centre in Durham who are also loaning the facsimiles. These resources will include complimentary copies of Discover The Lindisfarne Gospels which would be appropriate for years 2-6.
There will be a continuous schools relay between Gainford and Durham and we would welcome other schools on the rest of the journey also walking and learning with us. Some older pupils may be able to carry the coffin.
- Churches will generally be appropriate places where the coffin and the gospels can stay overnight. It has been suggested that some form of prayer vigil with candles might be appropriate, but it would be good to enable local people to come and see the coffin and the gospels. It would be very much up to local people to determine what they would like to do. Of course it would be important to ensure the church is secure for the night after the evening event.
- We are looking for accommodation each night which could be in people’s homes or perhaps in churches or church halls.
- We would like to find one person to be a local organiser for each day of the pilgrimage and if your church is able to find such a person please let us know