Southgate parishioners embark on 40-mile pilgrimage

By Priya Kingsley-Adam in Local People

MEMBERS of a church in Southgate are embarking on a 6-day long pilgrimage to mark the sacrifice of villagers who were inflicted by The Great Plague in the Peak District.

Fifteen parishioners from Christ Church Southgate, in The Green, are setting off on Monday (May 15) for the Peak Pilgrimage from Ilam to Eyam.

The pilgrimage has particular significance because of the sacrifice made in 1665 by a number of Eyam villagers who chose to isolate themselves after contracting the plague.

The disease had reached the village in the Derbyshire Dale District by a local tailor who had returned from London with a piece of cloth that had been contaminated with the disease.

The selfless act of going into isolation to prevent others from contracting the plague meant that a third of the villagers died, but consequently saved hundreds of lives.

The group have aimed to complete the 40-mile journey in six days, and will stay at a hotel in the village of Hartington each night.

Vicar of Christ Church, Reverend Dr Chrichton Limbert who is joining the pilgrimage said it had particular significance to their faith.

“It’s a place of Christian martyrdom, ” he explained. “It will be a spiritual experience and will allow us to remember the villagers and their selfless act which saved the lives of others.”

Along the journey they will reflect in prayer and meet parishioners from 15 churches.

At the end of the spiritual walk they will join a church in Eyam for their Sunday service.

They will also be raising funds from the pilgrimage for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, which supports children and young people in North London with life-threatening conditions.

Ronald Lo, a parish member at Christ Church who helped to organise the trip, said the pilgrimage would be a personal experience.

“It will give us time to reflect and to absorb the surroundings,” said the 71-year-old who lives in Leigh Hunt Drive, in Southgate.

“You don’t know what that experience will be until you’re on the journey but it helps you reflect and feel closer to your faith."

To sponsor Christ Church members on their pilgrimage visit https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/christchurchsouthgate

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