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Symbol of pilgrimage

12 April 2013

KEITH BLUNDY

A YURT was erected in the nave of Sunderland Minster, in Durham diocese, on Palm Sunday, and was there throughout Holy Week as a special place for meeting and prayer. Yurts - circular tents based on the portable (and well-insulated) homes of Central Asian nomads - have become increasingly familiar in recent years, their size and shape suggesting a place of hospitality and a symbol of journeying or pilgrimage.

"In the hustle and bustle of daily life," the Revd Martin Anderson said during the week, "we need a focal point to focus on God. People find the use of the yurt unusual and dynamic, and it's exciting. In a yurt, there is no hovering on the threshold or sitting on the fence: you are either 'in' or 'out', and that has great symbolism for our relationship with God also."

The Provost, Canon Sheila Bamber, said that they had been encouraging people to join them as they prayed for the city and the world, in the context of marking the journey of Christ through Holy Week and beyond.

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