It Was a Very Good Day for a Crossing; Weather Kind to Pilgrims on Holy Walk

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Daniel

CHRISTIAN pilgrims carried crosses over a Northumberland causeway yesterday as their Easter journey reached its destination.

The annual Northern Cross pilgrimage made its way over the causeway to Lindisfarne, after a six-day walk.

The event, now in its 35th year, saw more than 50 Christians from all denominations, men and women from seven to 70 and above, set out to walk in three groups last Saturday.

Pilgrims left Bellingham in Northumberland, Lanark and Carlisle, each group carrying wooden crosses, to walk around 100 miles during Holy Week.

Each night the walkers, some of whom have taken part in previous pilgrimages since the event began in 1976, have stayed at churches or village halls and participated in services.

Yesterday, the three legs set out - one at 5am, and pilgrims shouted 'thalassa,' Greek for sea, as they first caught sight of their final destination.

The three legs joined together at Beal Sands car park.

At 11am at low tide and in glorious sunshine, the pilgrims set out on the 2.5-mile walk across the causeway and the sands. They were joined by people from Holy Island and nearby churches, with around 80 people in total making the crossing.

The pilgrims arrived on Lindisfarne and placed the three crosses at the island's St Aidan's Catholic Church, where they will worship throughout the weekend.

Holy Island is the final destination for the pilgrims as it was an important centre for the spread of Christianity in the sixth to eighth centuries. …