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Traditional walk

09 January 2015

FOR the first time, the traditional four-mile Boxing Day pilgrimage from Ripon Cathedral to Fountains Abbey, in the diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales, was led by the Bishop of Knaresborough, the Rt Revd James Bell (left), who says he "loved every minute of it". He was handed the baton last Christmas by the retiring Bishop of Ripon & Leeds, the Rt Revd James Packer, who had led the walk every winter for the past 14 years. Bishop Bell was joined by the new Dean of Ripon, the Very Revd John Dobson (right), who was also doing it for the first time.

An estimated 1500 pilgrims took part in what has become a very popular annual event. After a eucharist service in Ripon Cathedral, the crowds gathered at the west front, and the Bishop and Dean set off at a brisk pace.

The hundreds following them were soon strung out along the route from the city along the River Skell to the Studley Royal Deer Park, and on to Fountains Abbey. Hundreds more joined them along the route, and finally packed into the cellarium of the ancient monastery, where mulled wine was served, and a carol service took place.

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