Lenten pilgrims cross Ulster Way in walk for peace

CORRYMEELA CEO, Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal is leading the Pilgrimage of Prayer for Peace along the Ulster Way during Lent 2013.

Nine intrepid walkers from different churches in the Down and Connor diocese set off on Tuesday 12th February from St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church on the ecumenical Lenten Pilgrimage of Prayer for Peace. The walkers stopped at each church of all denominations to pray for peace and every step they took was an act of prayer.

The first stop was at Ballintoy Parish Church. The second stop was at St Gobbin’s Church in Portbraddan. The third stop was the ancient ruin (pre-Reformation) of Templestra Church. The fourth stop was St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Bushmills and the fifth stop was Bushmills Presbyterian Church.

Rev Dr Bhogal said: “It was an absolutely stunning route to walk. There were challenging sections along the route, scrambling over slippery rocks and quite high barbed wire fences where the walkers tried to avoid eroded footpaths but it was well worth it and we prayed for peace every step of the way.”

The following week twelve walkers joined a congregation of around two hundred people at Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, Portstewart as they gathered for Mass following short prayers of blessing by priest Father Raymond McCullagh.

Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal said a few words about Corrymeela and the pilgrimage and offered a prayer for peace. The walkers then set off in bright sunshine, though misty conditions followed. They called in to the Flowerfield Arts Centre and Coleraine Council Chambers on the way for prayer.

Members of Bridgebuilders group led by Isobel McDonagh provided a very welcome soup and sandwich lunch at Coleraine Methodist Church. Following lunch, Inderjit addressed a District meeting of all the Methodist Ministers in the area.

The pilgrims continued a further seven mile trek along the road to Castlerock. En route, they stopped at Churches (Presbyterian and Church of Ireland) in Articlave for prayer. The walk concluded with prayers led by Rev. Diane Matchett in Christchurch, Castlerock. Diane and her family then treated the walkers to welcome refreshments. It was a 12 mile walk in total.

Corrymeela extends its thanks and appreciation to all the church leaders for their co-operation, and all the church congregations who supported the Corrymeela charity through donations and contributions on the www.justgiving.com/CorrymeelaLent website as well as providing refreshments to the walkers. Corrymeela thanks all the walkers to date for their commitment and prayers.