As the people of St. Philip's eagerly await the return of their rector John Stephens (and his family) from his sabbatical in South Africa, they bid a traditional "fare-thee-well" to pilgrims Robin Inglis and Marilyn Hames as they head off to walk the Camino to Santiago de Compostela.
Following ancient tradition, to lighten their load, the two pilgrims made their peace with everyone in the parish by offering to repay any debts they owed and asking forgiveness for having ever failed or offended anyone. They also collected small cards on which fellow parishioners requested prayers for those in trouble or need. At a recent 8am service, they were presented with St. Christopher medals after The Rev. Dr. David Hawkins charged the two pilgrims with their sacred task, blessing them and their gear--rucksacks and telescopic hiking poles replacing the time-honoured "scrip and staff", while sturdy boots and wide-brimmed hats complete their equipment, just as in days of yore. Don Lamb led prayers for them at the 10am service, so buoyed by the good wishes of the parish, it was with light heart Marilyn (Honorary Priest of the Parish of St. Philip) removed her vestments at the end of the service and shouldered her pack instead.
The freshly "Blessed" Pilgrimage acoutrements