A group of clergy from the diocese (and beyond) have set themselves the task of walking, in stages, the St Patrick Way over the coming months and invite you to join them.
The pilgrimage walk, stretching 82 miles from the Navan Centre outside Armagh to its conclusion at Patrick’s final resting place at Down Cathedral, takes in some of the key sites relating to Patrick’s heritage.
The four clergy are Rt Revd Darren McCartney (rector of Clonallon and Warrenpoint with Kilbroney), Revd Brian Cadden (rector of Castlewellan and Kilcoo), Revd Adrian Dorrian (Vicar of LAMP) and Revd Andrew Campbell (rector of Skerry, Rathcavan & Newtowncrommelin in Connor Diocese).
They walked the first stage, a short 3 miles from Navan Fort to Armagh Cathedral, on Wednesday 20 November – arriving in time to join Dean Gregory Dunstan and the midweek congregation of Armagh Cathedral for Holy Communion.
The idea to walk this pilgrim way in stages came from Bishop Darren, who said: “A couple of us hope to walk the Camino de Santiago in a year or two, and we thought this would be a good way of beginning to prepare for that. We have decided to break the pilgrimage into stages because of the constraints of time, but we hope that each leg will either begin or end with Eucharist. Even in the poor weather, we enjoyed the first part of the pilgrimage – we were able to get two of the ten stamps on our St Patrick Way Passports, to enjoy plenty of banter and fellowship and, of course, to come together for worship in the Cathedral in Armagh which is such a special place in the history of faith in Ireland.”
Although this first leg was walked by four intrepid pilgrims, they would welcome the company of others who may wish to join them. Darren says: “It’s not too late to join us for the whole thing – the first leg is very short and would be easy to make up. But I’d also be happy for people to get in touch and keep them in the loop as we plan the next stages so they can join us for even one leg, or perhaps some of the points of worship along the way.”