Bishop Peter is to undertake a series of pilgrimages on foot around the diocese, as churches begin to reopen, praying for the communities he passes through.
He will carry food, water and hand sanitiser with him, and will return home each night, ensuring he follows social distancing and all other guidelines at all times.
He will step out on the first of his walks on Friday 19 June, and will walk both Saturday and Sunday. The first three walks will take him past West Mendip Hospital, Musgrove Park Hospital and the RUH in Bath, all of which have cared for patients with Covid-19. In all, he expects to walk a total of around 30 miles this weekend.
A rough timetable will be posted on the Bath and Wells Facebook page each day and people will be able to follow his progress on Bishop Peter’s Twitter account, @bathwellsbish. Those who wish to join him in praying for communities as he passes through are welcome to do so, while following social distancing guidelines. See the below and our Facebook page for details of times and routes if you wish to join him.
Bishop Peter said: “As lockdown eases and churches are able to open their doors, it’s a joy to be able to go out and walk and pray for those who live and work in Somerset. So many people have suffered and are hurting from the last few months – whether from loss and illness through Covid 19, or loneliness and isolation. As I walk through town centres, past schools, hospitals, care homes and churches I shall be praying that God will comfort all those in need, and that His love will bring communities together in hope for the future.”
Bishop Peter’s pilgrimage routes:
Friday 19 June: Walk 1 West Mendip Hospital to Street 6miles
This walk goes past schools – St Dunstan’s and St Benedict’s and Strode College in Street. Past Glastonbury FM and Glastonbury Abbey, with a possible diversion up the Tor. He will also walk passed and pray for staff and residents in the care home next to St Benedict’s church, and those working at Clark’s Village in Street. Bishop Peter expects to be at West Mendip Hospital at 11.30am and arrive in Street at 2pm, if people wish to pray with him en route.
Saturday 20 June Walk 2 Bridgwater Town centre to Taunton Town centre and on to Musgrove Park Hospital 14 miles
Walking along the canal tow path. Start at St Mary’s Bridgwater, go to St Mary, Taunton passing churches, schools and retail shops, businesses etc. Bishop Peter expects to leave St Mary’s at 9.30am and arrive at Musgrove Hospital arund 3.30pm.
Sunday 21 June Walk 3 Saltford to Bath Abbey – along the old Bristol-Bath Railway (8 miles)
Visiting RUH en route, passing churches, schools and retail shops, businesses. Timings to be confirmed.