The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Pilgrimage to span Britain starts in East Anglia 

ViaBeataBelsey300A pilgrimage with a difference, with a dream to span Great Britain from Lowestoft to St Davids has been launched along the Norfolk and Suffolk border. Keith Morris reports.

 
A long-distance path right across the UK with a strong Christian theme has opened up its first 100-mile stretch from Lowestoft, along the Norfolk and Suffolk border to St Ives in Cambridgeshire.
 
Crossing the UK from the most easterly point to the most westerly, the Via Beata (a way of blessing) will eventually run for over 400 miles linking Lowestoft to St David’s Head in Wales.
 
The initial target is to establish a way station every 10 to 12 miles where walkers can stop and meditate upon a Christian artwork.
 
Already the path covers approximately 100 miles, from Lowestoft to St Ives in Cambridgeshire.  It has been formed by joining up existing local footpaths and bridleways with long distance paths such as the Angles and Hereward Way.  
 
ViaBeataBanham300Way stations are already in place in Ringsfield, Suffolk;  Ditchingham; Great Moulton; Banham; Quidenham; Roudham Heath in Norfolk; Brandon and Sedge Fen in Suffolk; and St Ives in Cambridgeshire.
 
Under the guidance of sculptor, Steve Eggleton, various groups have helped to produce intricate pieces of art, each very differently conceived but all based on a bible passage upon which walkers can meditate as they make their way between the stations.
 
These groups of artists have been drawn from the charity sector, local churches and families.   Most of the artworks have been created within a workshop environment, but one was carved by festival goers over a weekend at the Kingstock Christian Music Festival held in August last year.   It is expected that this summer will yield two more artworks from Christian festivals.
 
The map of the walk and its’ projected path across the UK can be seen on the Via Beata website.   This enables walkers to pick up the route using smart phones.  Hard copies are also available to download and print.

Pictured above are way stations at Belsey Bridge and Banham in Norfolk.
 

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