Whitby Deanery covers the coastal area around the fishing town of Whitby, and goes inland along the northern fringes of the North York Moors. This area has a rich Christian heritage: its monastery was home to St Hilda and Cædmon the poet, and the Synod of Whitby was held there in 664. Find out more about the churches in Whitby Deanery through the A Church Near You website
1st December 2015
10.30am Morning Prayer at St Mary's Church. Parkol boat builders. Caedmon College. St John's Church. Leave St John's Church at 1.30pm to walk along West Cliff.Postcard
Sunshine after the rain - the end of an amazing Day One of the Archbishop’s pilgrimage through Cleveland. Starting out from St Mary’s the church at the top of the 199 steps, founded in 1110, we met shopkeepers, tourists, boatbuilders and students before stopping for fish and chips in St John’s Church on Baxtergate. The young people of Caedmon College grilled the Archbishop – what was the vision for the pilgrimage, how did he become a Christian, what do Archbishops do all day? – but he was up to the task. ‘What is the one thing you want people to know?’ he was asked. ‘That you are fearfully and wonderfully made.’
At St John’s we had a masterclass in prayer, using the Archbishop’s own take on a Rosary, helping us to pray the kyrie – Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy – and the Lord’s Prayer, all that a pilgrim needs to develop a deeper relationship with God. And then we prayed for two pilgrims who needed spiritual and physical healing and saw a small miracle happen. We finished the day with a drop in to the Mission to Seafarers and then up the Khyber Pass (seriously, that’s the name of the road!) to the Cook memorial on the top of the West Cliff. And as the rain cleared and the sun set, God blessed us with the beauty of his creation – no colour filters needed, all His own work. Thanks be to God.
Sam Rushton, Archdeacon of Cleveland
2nd December 2015
Visit RAF Fylingdales. Robin Hoods Bay. Leave St Stephen's Church around 1.30pm to walk to Whitby.Postcard
Today The Archbishop visited RAF Fylingdales. We were welcomed by Flt. Lt. Christian Winter who had organised our visit. He introduced us to Wing Cmdr. Dave Keighley who took us to the Joint Ranks Mess. There we met service families and those who work on the base, together with a number of children from the base who attend Ruswarp C. of E. School. The Archbishop shared a time of worship, and prayer cards and prayer beads were distributed. Refreshments were served which gave all a chance to meet The Archbishop.
We left the base to travel to Robin Hood’s Bay and were met by The Rev’d. Simon Smales who spoke to us about his ministry. A sizeable group embarked on a walk from Robin Hood’s Bay to Hawsker along the old railway line. At All Saints’ Church, Hawsker the Archbishop concluded the day with prayer.
Barry Pyke. Rural Dean of Whitby.
3rd December 2015
Train from Whitby to Danby. Danby Primary School. Botton Village Community. Leave the Lion Inn at 1.30pm to walk to Ralph’s Cross.Postcard
Day Three started with a ride on one of the most beautiful train journeys in the UK, from Whitby to Danby on the Esk Valley line. The driver came out of his cab to greet us and promise us a smooth ride and the guard punched our tickets along with those of the shoppers and workers on the way to Middlesbrough. The greeting at Danby in the misty, drizzly weather was warm and welcoming, giving us the opportunity to meet Christians and their ministers from a number of nearby churches. Danby school were a joy – more teaching on prayer from the Archbishop, more prayer beads handed out, more questions for him. ‘Why did you come from Uganda to England?’ elicited a poignant answer against the current backdrop of the refugee crisis. ‘Have you met the Pope? reminded us that Roman Catholicism is alive and well in the north east. And then the long walk to Botton village where the Archbishop met villagers for a private pastoral visit. The day was due to end with a walk along Blakely Ridge to Ralph Cross from where you can see as far as Roseberry Topping and the sea but as we ascended into the thick, low cloud we realised it wasn’t to be! As we paused for prayer at the Cross on the drive home, we were powerfully reminded that stone crosses have been used on moors and mountains for more than 1000 years to guide travellers through danger to safe havens – keep looking to the cross as the clouds descend!
Sam Rushton, Archdeacon of Cleveland
4th December 2015
Leave Sneaton Priory at 9.00am to walk through Sandsend to Lythe. St Oswald's Church. Lythe Primary School. Lythe Community Shop. Mulgrave Estate.
5th December 2015
Goathland. Leave village at 9.30am to walk along railway path to Grosmont. Grosmont North York Moors Railway. St Hedda's Church at Egton Bridge.Postcard
Day 5 and the wind is blowing a gale but luckily it’s dry and relatively warm. We started in Goathland, better known as ‘Heartbeat’ country to people of a particular age. The Archbishop led us in prayer and then around a dozen pilgrims set out down the Esk Valley Walk to Grosmont. We met a number of walkers, local and visitors, and a few residents doing a little light shopping. Many stopped to chat and took the Archbishop’s prayer cards. The wonderful folk at Grosmont church provided us with warm soup and chocolate cake (not necessarily to be eaten together!) and then, after more prayer, we went to see the trains. Today was the ‘Santa Special Day’ and the steam train was full of families ready to go on the journey to Whitby, after the Archbishop had visited the footplate of course! At Grosmont, we met Olly Foster who had, by an extraordinary coincidence, met the Archbishop on a train 3 years ago. Hearing that we were on our way to Egton, he invited us to pop in for a cup of tea at his home on the Egton Estate where we met his wife Laura and his new son, 6 week old Ned. In one of the most moving interludes of the pilgrimage so far, the Archbishop blessed young Ned and we prayed for the family. We finished the day at St Hedda’s Roman Catholic church in Egton. God is so good!
6th December 2015
10.00am service at St Nicholas Church Roxby. Leave around 11.00am to walk to Hinderwell. St Hilda's Well. Staithes.Postcard
A bright day dawned and The Archbishop made his way to St. Nicholas Church, Roxby to celebrate with the congregation their patronal festival. The Roxby musicians were in full swing and The Archbishop told us the story of St. Nicholas and his passion for sharing the Good News of Christ in word and deed. His story is ours and we too should be sharing the Good News in word and deed in our own Christian lives to enable the light of Christ to shine.
After the Eucharist people spent time with The Archbishop before he set of walking to Hinderwell. At Hinderwell we paused at the Holy Well said prayers and collected some water. We had a fine Yorkshire roast dinner at the Badger Hounds in Hinderwell before picking up the Cleveland Way along the cliffs to Staithes. On the way and in Staithes we were warmly received by many before we passed over the beck on the bridge that marks the boundary between Whitby and Guisborough Deaneries. There we bade our Archbishop a fond farewell from Whitby.
Barry Pyke, Rural Dean of Whitby