Introduction by the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, Rev John Lomas

The Christian story is essentially one of pilgrimage. We take our inspiration from the stories in scripture and our lead from the saints who have gone before. We see ourselves as a people on a journey, and the reasons for setting out upon a pilgrimage remain as varied as the lives we have chronicled and cherished.

“Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you” God tells Abram. And he goes.

Moses, urged by God to take the captive Israelites on a journey of promise, says to Pharaoh, “Let my people go.” And they go.

Ruth, looking into the eyes of Naomi her mother in law, is drawn by what she sees and is determined to follow her. “Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” And she goes

The reasons for setting out on pilgrimage are as varied as the stories we read.  Nothing has changed that, somewhere within all of us there is the pilgrim wanting to see more, experience more, grow more.

On the Gower Pilgrimage way, you will be invited to journey along the highways and byways, enter the churches and buildings made sacred by centuries of prayer,  first offered by the early Celtic saints who took the commission of Jesus seriously: “To go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

But whatever your own reason to begin this pilgrimage, whether you are a person of faith or none,  I think one thing we can agree upon is that to journey is to change.

So my prayer for you is that you will be changed by this journey, enriched by all you experience and that you will be all the better for daring to step out and so discover the pilgrim within.

Blessings

+ John Abertawe ac Aberhonddu

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