Pioneering the Two Kingdoms Way

The spread of Christianity in England was significantly due to the faith of Northumbrian monks bringing the gospel to Mercia - key being St Chad. To mark this journey, a group led by Ann Fisher has been pioneering a commemorative pilgrimage route from Lindisfarne (where St Chad was trained) to Lichfield as his base for ministry in Mercia.

The team are walking the whole 475-mile route in chunks through 2021/22 with the aim of arriving back in Lichfield on St Chad's day, 2 March 2022 coinciding with the celebration of Chad's arrival 1350 years ago. We'll be bringing highlights here:

1. Leaving Lindisfarne

Setting out at dawn on 4 July:

As if tidal footpaths, fog, driving rain and sunburn weren't enough to contend with, callused minstrel Steve Hollinghurst has composed a song to accompany them...

2. Midway

By the start of December 2021, the pioneer group had covered over two thirds, nearly 350 miles, of the distance and were about to embark on the Midlands section of the route. The walkers carryied with them a portable reproduction of part of the 8th Century Lichfield Gospel which they have been leaving at various destinations at the end of each stage, giving a sense of continuity, as well as helping to build connections with churches and communities along the way. The gospel facsimile at that point was in the safekeeping of St Mary’s Church, Barton upon Humber.

3. First pilgrims reach Lichfield

The first walkers have checked out the entire route from Lindesfarne to Lichfield, arriving on St Chad's Day 2022.

The new Two Kingdoms Way has been inspired and devised by a team led by Ann Fisher following the journey of St Chad's life from his upbringing on Lindisfarne, becoming abbot of Lastingham Priory and eventually missionary and first bishop of Mercia in Lichfield.

Having covered the 480 miles in segments since July 2021, pilgrims completed the journey over the past five days through Southwell & Nottingham and Derby dioceses arriving in Burton-on-Trent on Sunday and Lichfield yesterday which marked the Feast of St Chad*. Around twenty pilgrims left All Saint's Church, Alrewas for the final seven miles via Fradley and St Chad's Well arriving at the cathedral where they were met by the Dean and canons. In a short act of prayer and worship, the Dean, Very Revd Adrian Dorber and Bishop Michael washed the pilgrims feet, a traditional act of welcome from the cathedral.

Ann talks further about the inspiration, development and discoveries of this pilgrimage in a this video:

Page last updated: Friday 4th March 2022 11:36 AM
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