Introduction & testimonies

Archbishop Sentamu sets out his vision for the Pilgrimage of Prayer, Witness and Blessing. Testimonies followed from the people he met along the way...
People

Between Advent 2015 and Trinity 2016 I will be engaging in a Diocesan Pilgrimage of Prayer, Witness and Blessing.

The vision for this Pilgrimage lies in the roots of our Christian Heritage. As I have prayed and waited on God, I have been inspired by the great Northern Saints, such as Aidan, Cuthbert, and Hilda who took to the road to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

To those of you who will be providing hospitality of sanctuary and refectory, I want to say a huge thank you. As we meet and pray together, I pray that we may be a mutual blessing one to another. But the sanctuary and the refectory are only part of the story. We must also get out on the road! We are a Church on the road in mission ready to make Christ known in word and deed. Come and join me, in prayer and in person, so that together we may be part of God’s transforming work in this Diocese.

Between Advent 2015 and Trinity 2016 I will be engaging in a Diocesan Pilgrimage of Prayer, Witness and Blessing. I am therefore writing to invite you to participate in this Pilgrimage, whether through prayer or in person.

The vision for this Pilgrimage lies in the roots of our Christian Heritage. As I have prayed and waited on God, I have been inspired by the great Northern Saints, such as Aidan, Cuthbert, and Hilda who took to the road to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

As part of his discipline of life Aidan ensured a balance between the sanctuary, the refectory and the road. His discipleship began in the sanctuary with worship. Having met with God in prayer and worship, he met with others in the refectory to be built up through food and fellowship. Having been strengthened in body and spirit he then set out on the road to proclaim the Gospel to all.

If he met with someone on the road he would ask them if they were a Christian. If they said ‘yes’, he would pray with them and teach them a Psalm. If they said ‘no’ he would talk with them until they were able to make their own profession of faith.

It is this challenge to leave the safety of the sanctuary and the refectory and set out on the road that lies behind this Pilgrimage. It is a sign that our first call is to be a Church on the road in mission, because we are joining in with a God who is already on the road seeking out those whom He loves and bringing them home.

I am also seeking a balance in what happens ‘on the road’. This is to be a Pilgrimage of Prayer, Witness and Blessing.

A Pilgrimage of Prayer - As I walk, I will be taking time to listen to God for His will for us as a Diocese. I will be using the surroundings as an inspiration to intercede for all who live in this fantastic part of God’s kingdom. As I meet with people and talk about their hopes and dreams, their fears and disappointments, I will also pray with them, knowing that each time we cry out to God, He hears and responds.

A Pilgrimage of Witness - I will be taking every opportunity, like Aidan, to talk to all those with whom I meet about the love of God made visible in Jesus Christ. I long for the people I meet to be refreshed in faith and hope in Christ, possibly for the first time.

A Pilgrimage of Blessing - As I walk I will be keeping watch for those places where God’s Kingdom is breaking in and seeking to bless them. This will in turn inspire further intercession that we may see more of the power of God making a difference amongst us.

To those of you who will be providing hospitality of sanctuary and refectory, I want to say a huge thank you. As we meet and pray together, I pray that we may be a mutual blessing on to another.

But the sanctuary and the refectory are only part of the story. We must also get out on the road! We are a Church on the road in mission ready to make Christ known in word and deed. Come and join me so that together we may be part of God’s transforming work in this Diocese.

See you on the road!
With every blessing,

Archbishop Sentamu


With thanks to Welcome to Yorkshire

 

Testimonies from the Pilgrimage of Prayer, Witness and Blessing