To mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation on 31 October 2017, midlands Church leaders will take part in a walk of friendship on Saturday 23 September. The walk will begin at the midlands hub of the Roman Catholic Church – the Metropolitan Cathedral Church and Basilica of St Chad, Birmingham – and end at the historic mother-church of Mercia, the Anglican Cathedral of St Mary and St Chad, Lichfield (pictured). The St Chad Pilgrimage celebrates the fact that, 500 years on from their cataclysmic division, Catholics and Protestants have resolved many of the doctrinal issues that once separated them and are now, more than ever before, walking, praying and working together in respect, friendship and co-operation.
The pilgrimage is open to Christian people of all denominations old and new, as well as to people of goodwill who are in sympathy with its aims and ethos of reconciliation, relationship-building and peace-making. Walkers will also have to be physically capable of undertaking a long walk.
Walking some or all of the 18 miles between the two Cathedrals will be the Most Revd Bernard Longley (Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham), Mgr Timothy Menezes (Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Birmingham), the Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave (Anglican Bishop of Lichfield), the Right Revd David Urquhart (Anglican Bishop of Birmingham), the Right Revd Anne Hollingshurst (Anglican Bishop of Aston), Revd Rachel Parkinson (Chair of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District of the Methodist Church), Revd Ian Howarth (Chair of the Birmingham District of the Methodist Church), Revd Adrian Argile (Regional Minister Team Leader for the Heart of England Baptist Association) and Revd Steve Faber (Moderator of the West Midlands Synod of the United Reformed Church).
Pilgrims will be sent on their way at 9.00am on Saturday 23 September with a blessing by Canon Father Gerry Breen (pictured), Dean of St Chad’s Cathedral, and will receive an official welcome upon arrival at Lichfield Cathedral. It is essential that those wishing to join the pilgrimage understand the implications of involvement and register to participate by Friday 25 August at the latest. Details of the pilgrimage route, approximate timings and application forms can be found on our sister-site via this link.