A 21st century pilgrimage full of life and fun brought people out to Ripon Cathedral for the traditional Boxing Day Pilgrimage to Fountains Abbey.
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson DL and the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Rev Nick Baines were joined by the Bishop of Ripon, the Rt Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley and Bishop Ralf Meister of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Hanover and an honorary Ecumenical Canon of the cathedral,
Hundreds of people attended the St Stephen’s Day Eucharist, followed by the Boxing Day Pilgrimage to the National Trust’s beautiful Fountains Abbey and grounds.
Tradition dictates that the community of Ripon retraces the steps of the Abbey’s founding fathers, who set out from Ripon Cathedral on St Stephen’s Day in 1132 to found the monastery which was to become Fountains Abbey – the largest Cistercian house in Europe.
Dean Dobson said: “Yet again, it was wonderful to have several hundred people join us for the Boxing Day Pilgrimage with almost a thousand taking part in the carol service at Fountains Abbey.
“Our diocesan bishop, Bishop Nick, joining us with his family, set us off with a prayer and shared a Christmas message – Christ is with us in every situation.
“It was hugely encouraging to be joined by our very good friend Bishop Ralf Meister. The large crowd very much appreciated his stirring words – Christ looks for a kingdom of peace and justice. All of this is very encouraging as we embark on a new decade with faith hope.“
2020 is the Association of English Cathedrals’ Year of Pilgrimage and you can access some suggested routes to and from Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, National Trust on the British Pilgrimage Trust’s website: https://britishpilgrimage.org/…/ripon-cathedral-pilgrimage…/