We in the North East of England are very much spoilt when it comes to our religious heritage. The likes of St Aidan, St.Bede, St.Hild and St Cuthbert. Such connections have drawn people to Lindisfarne – Holy Island – and with both Cuthbert and Bede having their resting place in Durham Cathedral many have come to our area of the world for centuries. It is most certainly a place of pilgrimage.
In many ways we who worship at St James are also very much associated with this idea of pilgrimage, the want to head to a place in order to experience a closeness to God and those who have worshipped Him before us. The decision to go to somewhere whose significance to others of the faith we hope will see us experiencing something deeply moving and important in our journey of faith as well. In the case of those at St James this is because one of the most famous pilgrim routes of the Christian faith in Europe is the Camino de Santiago, known in English as the Way of St James, as it leads to the shrine of the apostle James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in north western Spain.
Next year, 2020 has been designated as Our Year of Pilgrimage by the Diocese of Durham. A period when it is hoped that through reflection and prayer, we will find ways to join Jesus on His journey to the people of our region. If you perhaps are feeling that you may want to journey toward or along with Jesus, then please do look out for such as the Durham Pilgrim Booklet, that will apparently help us to share our faith with friends and neighbours and explore together the claims that Jesus made about who He is and what it means to follow Him.