The Bradwell Pilgrimage takes place every year amongst various branches of Christians in Essex. The walk is only about 2 miles long, but it does end near a very desolate bit of the Essex Coast near to Bradwell Nuclear Power Station. I thought I should try a real Pilgrimage as part of my research in to walking. So, I asked some Church-goers I know to take me along.
I made a sound recording of the event:
I didn't fully understand these chaps protest. I think they were saying that different branches of Christianity believe slightly different things, so they shouldn't mingle.
Inside Bradwell Village Church.
Amplified Salvation Army band.
The Cross we were to follow behind.
School children splashed us all with Holy Water infused with Rosemary.
Some Bishops welcomed us and gave the walking directions.
A Priest from Saffron Waldon had walked with some Christian Teens. It had taken them three whole days to walk less than 50 miles, pretty poor going in my book.
He had bought the shells, a traditional symbol of Pilgrims, off of Ebay.
We gathered together and sang Hallelujah before setting off up the driveway of the Bradwell Chapel in silence.
The Chapel was founded in the 650s, it was turned into a Barn in the 1750s and back into a Chapel in the 1920s. I can't work out when the Pilgrimage started, it seems to have been 1999.
On arrival at the Chapel (after eating some cake) we were all sent down to the beach to find a shell, the symbol of a Pilgrim. We were meant to bring these back for the Bishops to bless for us, but at this point we found the beach had dead jelly fish and little crabs all over it, so we ran off to play on the muddy coast.