THE Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, will begin a six-month pilgrimage in the diocese of York on Sunday.
He will be walking a “sizeable distance” each day, a spokeswoman said on Monday. “From the coast, over moor and dale, along highways and byways, through both rural and urban communities, and across an area which spans the Humber to the Tees, and the A1 to the coast.”
Dr Sentamu announced in July that he had been led in prayer to consider the pilgrimage, inspired by the example of St Aidan and St Cuthbert, evanglists in the North of England.
“I would like to encourage everyone whom I meet to commit themselves afresh to pray, in whatever shape this brings, and for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” he said.
He is due to spend six days, from Tuesday to Sunday, in each of the deaneries of the diocese of York, beginning at Whitby, in Cleveland before moving on to East Riding, and finishing in York Minster on Trinity Sunday (22 May).
The staff at Bishopthorpe will provide “back-up support” while the Archbishop is walking, the spokeswoman said. He will withdraw from his national responsibilities, “other than some inevitable essentials”.
Although his wife, Margaret, will join him for some of the route, for most of the time he will walk alone, “though he hopes others will join him often along the way”. He will have a day of rest at home each week.
Unlike a visitation, the pilgrimage will have little in the way of official events, and “plenty of space for spontaneous response to God”, the spokeswoman said. Dr Sentamu plans to visit “diverse communities” along the way.