Pilgrimage

School visit to Derby Cathedral on Thursday 7th June 2018.

Thursday 7th June saw the whole school gathered and eagerly waiting for our coach to arrive to take us to Derby for our Pilgrimage activity and visit to the Cathedral. We were joining with Elton School to take part in a Pilgrimage walk around Derby as part of our RE curriculum.

On arrival we were met by our guide and all the pupils were handed two symbolic items to keep safe during their walk.  These were a small pebble to symbolise a burden that we may be carrying with us throughout our lives and a scallop shell, the iconic symbol of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.

Our first stop was to pay a toll in order to continue our journey.  The children were asked to write down a talent that they could offer to make the world a better and more beautiful place. The ‘tolls’ were posted into a box and we were allowed to continue.

The route took us past the site of Darley Abbey where it is thought the foundations lie under an old pub.  Here, we thought about the firm foundations of our lives.

We continued on and were met by the sight of many ducks waiting to be fed.  Duck food was shared out fairly between the children (not to eat!) and then with the ducks, who thoroughly enjoyed their treat.

We stopped to enjoy the stillness and peace in the park and the children enjoyed gathering items of interest and beauty which they placed in their paper bags for safe keeping.

The pilgrimage route then took us out of the park and to a crossroads.  Life is not always easy and the path is not always clear – which path should we take?

Before arriving at the Cathedral we took a refreshment break at St Alkmund’s Well. St Alkmund is the Patron Saint of Derby and we learned about the legend surrounding him while resting near the well on the grass. We thought of the good example of St Alkmund to be kind to those less fortunate than us.

At the bridge over the river Derwent we cast our symbolic ‘burdens’ into the water to remind us that we can off-load the burdens of life to God and then to everyone’s great excitement we learnt that if we all worked together and jumped at the same time we could make the bridge bounce!

Finally our destination was in site; we could see the tower of the Cathedral in the distance. Once inside we laid our shells down around the candle to remind us that Jesus is like a light in the darkness. We joined together in prayer to thank God for the welcome it gives to us and all travelers who journey here.

After lunch was eaten on the grass we spent time in the Cathedral enjoying the calm and peaceful atmosphere and learning about the Cathedral as a place of worship.  All too soon it was time to leave and after a quick dash into the gift shop we boarded the coach for our journey back to school.

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