Parish Pilgrimage to the Winterborne Valley, Dorset
May 8-10th saw 37 parishioners making their way to central Dorset for a wonderful weekend of walking and fellowship. Generously hosted by Emily D‟Silva‟s parents and friends, and parishioners of the churches in the Winterborne Valley and Milton Abbas Benefice, we made our way in walking boots through fields of glorious rapeseed in unexpected and very welcome sunshine, walking from one village to the next, each time
stopping in its church for a short service. We all appreciated and commented on the chance to get out of town and enjoy a weekend away in beautiful countryside.
We were joining a tradition which the Dorset parishes have enjoyed for some years. The Vicar of the Winterborne valley churches, Rev. Alan Ryan, led us in some lovely services. We were all rewarded for our walking with a great picnic lunch at Winterborne Whitechurch and an amazing tea at our final church in Milton Abbas; both were kindly provided by the parishioners.
The weekend was a lovely inclusive one for young and old – the youngest walker to complete the 13-mile route was five years old and the oldest in his eighties. On the Sunday we enjoyed a fabulous outdoor roast after a morning service at which Joe preached. Very many thanks to the D‟Silvas and their friends for their hospitality and to Emily for all the planning that went into our visit. New friendships were made and old ones consolidated. We hope to maintain the connection we have made to the parishes.