St. Cuthbert's Way Pilgrimage (2022)
 

Scott Puthoff
/ Categories: St Cuthberts Way

Day 7 (June 19, 2022) - Final Day of Walking

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After a grueling day of walking from Wooler to Beal near the Northumberland coast, our tired but eager group of pilgrims looked forward to our final trek to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.  This final day of walking was relatively short, only about 5 miles, but our group chose to follow the traditional Pilgrims’ Path and walk across the the mudflats left after low tide.  Crossing to the Holy Island can only happen at this time by vehicle or on foot as the causeway is fully covered at high tide, cutting off access to the island.  Our group members arrived at the edge of the mudflats and we all prepared for the wet walk to the island.  Some of us chose to go barefoot and some of us wore water shoes, but we all rolled up our pant legs and scrambled down onto the mud from the edge of the causeway.  And that’s when the fun began!  The mud at that spot was very slippery and a couple of us initially lost footing and experienced some hilarious, but harmless spills.  We all quickly adjusted and moved on to soggy but more firm ground and began to follow the poles which stretched across the flats to guide walkers to the island.  Everyone had a great time slogging through the mud, water and occasional patch of seaweed for the 2 mile hike to the island.  A few of the group were having so much fun that they dallied for an extended period of time, thoroughly enjoying the muddy walking and stopping frequently to take photos.  Once all of the pilgrims had finally set foot on dry ground, we proceeded into the small village on the island to check into our hotel and then attend a meet and greet session at the St. Cuthbert’s Centre of the United Reformed Church where we were again greeted by Rev. David Jenkins, friend of Dick and Tina Morawski.  Also there to meet with us was the local Moderator of the United Reformed Church, Rev. David Herbert who made a special effort to be with us and reflect on the meaning of pilgrimage and the spiritual heritage of St. Cuthbert.  After some leisurely exploration of the village bustling with visitors, we gathered later for devotions at the St. Cuthbert’s Centre led by Danelle and Mark Buelsing.  Mark read a passage from Micah 6:8, the well known “and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”  We all reflected on the frequent references in the Scriptures to walking with God and our groups walk with God following the ancient path used by St. Cuthbert and many other saints throughout the centuries.  At dinner later, someone mentioned that they couldn’t believe that our pilgrimage had come to an end, but I have a feeling that this pilgrimage will lead us to continue our walking with God with our hearts and minds and eyes open wide, guided by the prayer which began each day of our pilgrimage and which reads in part: 

“I set out each morning with eyes open wide, Eager for you to illuminate my heart with the wonders you will show me and the surprises you have in store.”

Steve Fahnestock

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