Bishop’s Lent Pilgrimage around Leicestershire community and social action projects

The  Bishop of Loughborough will be undertaking more than 30 visits and a charity ‘sleep out’ as part of a Lent Pilgrimage in the Diocese of Leicester.

Washing up, packing foodbank parcels, making tea and sleeping on the street to raise money to help people who are homeless are all part of Bishop Guli’s plans to roll her sleeves up alongside volunteers.

The ‘Salt of the Earth’ Lent Pilgrimage will see her spending a day or two each week throughout Lent (before Easter) in different locations across Leicestershire. In the Church calendar, Lent runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday (this year that’s from 26 February to 11 April).

Bishop Guli will be learning about, and joining in with, community social action that local Christians take part in as an expression of their Everyday Faith in partnership with community and charity groups.

She will also pray with, and for, all the local communities she visits and will undertake some short walks with members of the local communities. 

Various churches, schools and partner community organisations and charities will be involved including the Methodist Church. Our local Roman Catholic Bishop, Patrick McKinney will join one of the visits.

Bishop Guli said:

“Our Lent Pilgrimage theme of ‘Salt of the Earth’ draws attention and prayer to the dedicated work undertaken by volunteers from our churches as they live out their everyday faith, engage with their communities and make a difference to their own lives as well as the lives of others around them.

“Importantly, much of this work is done in partnership with local charities, community groups, other faiths and church denominations and it is inspiring to hear of these collaborations enabling fruitful social action.”

Starting and ending at Leicester Cathedral, this will be a spiritual journey for Bishop Guli personally but she also hopes that stories shared from the Pilgrimage will inspire people and bring encouragement.

Visits will include a stop at Thurnby Lodge to talk to volunteers who are keen to set up Together Leicester’s first Cook and Eat Hub. The Cook and Eat project is being supported by this year’s Bishops’ Lent Appeal. Click here to read more.

It also includes Bishop Guli taking part in The Big Sleep event when students and others raise money to help people who are homeless. Click here to read more.

The Pilgrimage name ‘Salt of the Earth’ is, by happy coincidence, shared with a Leicester-based charity supporting sustainable development projects in India  which you can read about by clicking here. Bishop Guli has been invited to visit the charity’s organisers to find out more about their work as part of her Pilgrimage.

The Pilgrimage name is taken from a Bible quote (Matthew 5 v13) and Bishop Guli explains:

“We chose this title because it expresses something of our vocation as Christians to make a difference in the world, just as salt makes a difference to food or to an icy path. In the Diocese of Leicester one of our commitments is to “loving service of the world” through which God’s love is reflected to everyone regardless of their circumstances. During the pilgrimage I’m keen to see how we inhabit this commitment in all kinds of different ways.”

Members of Leicester’s new monastic community, The Tree of Life, will support the visits with creative prayer throughout.

The Pilgrimage has been organised by parish churches and a core planning team including:

·         Sian Rigby, Together Leicester Development Worker

·         Canon Alison Adams, Diocesan and Cathedral Social Responsibility Enabler

·         Revd Mark Carroll, Curate at Loughborough Parish Church

The pilgrimage is not intended as an activity for the public to join (other than those involved in the visits in each community) but Bishop Guli hopes that people will pray for the voluntary  and charity work that is being done in all of our communities. Anyone will be able to follow details of the visits on the Diocese of Leicester website (we will publish a link to it shortly so check back here in the coming weeks) and our social media throughout Lent, or through visiting the Cathedral where there will be photos and other details on display in Lent.

If you would like to donate to the Bishops’ Lent Appeal, please see details of how you can give here

You can follow Bishop Guli's Lent pilgrim's progress by clicking  here. We will be adding photos and videos throughout the coming weeks. The first visit will be on 4 March. 


Spoon full of salt

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