We managed to arrive in Durham in glorious sunshine in time for the prayers at the shrine of St Cuthbert in the cathedral. It felt very right to light a candle there and join in the prayers along with others and was good to meet Robin and Janet from York there. We went into the Gift shop and met Enid, went to Gospel Gourmet Burger and met Ian. The NE Christian Aid rep Val has emailed various people in Durham to advise them of our arrival and so we got a good welcome from Stephen Cherry, the person leading Evensong. He led prayers for us and the Christian Aid Afghanistan project we are walking for. In the same evening, we visited the Lindisfarne Gospels (excellent exhibition! and nice welcome from Stephen Roberts the big red heart man) and moseyed about looking for somewhere to eat. Various other folk who had been in the cathedral Evensong approached us. So hello to Val and Janice and Stephen, Katherine and her daughter Kaitlin, members of the choir, Rob and Theresa from Preston, and Fred from the URC church in Durham who greeted us in Priors Walk. It sounds like a lot of people in a short period of time – and it was – most encouraging.
The route to the Tyne took us along a cycle track (ex rail track). Initially we took a wrong turn (how?!) and had to walk back. Lynda kindly confirmed our new direction and gave us a Cornetto each.Eventually we arrived at Bishop Auckland where Auckland Castle used to house the Prince Bishops but is now open to the public. The guides are excellent there, we sampled the tour on our way north two weeks ago.
The last mile and a half along the Weardale Way to Escomb were hard to do but well worth the effort. Escomb church is the earliest and most complete Saxon church in the country. It is a centre of pilgrimage and has lots in information about it’s history.
Miles walked so far – 95
Churches visited – open 3 locked 5
Accompanying walkers – 0
Kissing Gates – 3
Scrabble – Nancy 2 John 3