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The series of pilgrimages across our seven Archdeaconries is now complete. Trevor has kindly compiled the following statistics from his records, for which I am grateful.

  • Total distance: 1168.8 km
    • 2015 => 199 km
    • 2016 => 157.9 km
    • 2017 => 226.1 km
    • 2018 => 169.2 km
    • 2019 => 197.3 km (includes 6.8 km without Bishop David, as he had to fly to the UK as his mother was ill; this walk was completed in the Fall)
    • 2022 => 219.5 km
  • Longest walk: 25.7 km Red Rapids to Perth-Andover
  • Highest point: Sugarloaf at 282.2 meters (for Paul Ranson's information Currie Mountain was a mere 101 meters)
  • Steepest prolonged climb: Lucy's Gulch - 121.3 meters to 272.2 meters over 2km.

I am very thankful to everyone who helped with and participated in each of the pilgrimages. It is a long time since we set off from the Church of the Resurrection in Grand Bay on the first leg of the walk to the Good Shepherd in West Saint John. There have been many highlights and some sadnesses over the years. Perhaps one day I will try to re-read my blogs and produce a memoir, but that will not be now.

Today as I spoke at the final service in our Cathedral it suddenly struck me that when I began this process I was married to Janet and could not have imagined that by now she would have died or I would be married to Debbie. Both of them in different ways have supported this ministry and I want to thank them publicly for what they have done.

To complete a major task like this gives one a great sense of accomplishment, but it also leads to a panoramic reflection across this part of life. In 2015 I was a newly minted Bishop with many hopes for our diocese, some of which I am glad to say have come to fruition by the grace of God. I am also aware that there have been things which have "got" away. Decisions which needed more reflection; and failures to follow the way of God as well.

That being said I am aware that we stand on the cusp of new beginnings. COVID-19 has forced us into this place. On this Day of Pentecost we all need to look to the Spirit of God to propel us into the future. No matter how we see the future we can only walk forward into the Kingdom of God under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Throughout the history of the people of God it is God's Spirit who has empowered us.

May today be a Pentecost where the fire of God bursts into flame and the renewing wind of the Spirit blows through the people of God.

David


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