As the Bishop said to the TV presenter…
I was delighted when the Bishop of Oxford the right reverend Steven Croft agreed to bless my Camino painting and cycling pilgrimage.
It’s a powerful thing to be receive a blessing for any adventure and for something as big and as challenging as this trip – 6 weeks on my own across Europe on a bike – I felt it was essential. It’s like taking a tool kit, map and other essentials.
It’s nothing new either. In the Middle Ages up to a quarter of a million people a year would set off across Europe from their homes to Santiago. But, unlike today, many of the medieval pilgrims wouldn’t expect to reach their destination or if they did, would they get home again afterwards….. That’s because many of them were sick and were seeking a miracle cure. So in order to to you needed the permission of your parish priest and Lord of the Manor, which would only be given if your affairs were in order and you had written your will.
You’ll be pleased to learn, I’m setting off in good health and expecting both to make it there and home again, and so I decided to ask the head of my diocese – the Bishop of Oxford for his blessing.
He’s also asked me to invite the Archbishop of Santiago, Julian Barrio Barrio, to come and visit. Now the challenge is to get to meet the Archbishop.