Jubilee pilgrims complete trek across North Wales

Pilgrims have completed their trek across across North Wales in honour of the United Reformed Church (URC’s) 50th anniversary. 

In total, 94 people representing 12 different churches, and four furry friends, took part in the pilgrimage which ended at Penmaenmawr on 2 October having started at Wrexham on 23 July.

The final route took the walkers from the picturesque castle town of Conwy, to Sychnant Pass and then across the lower slopes of Snowdonia National Park.

Pilgrims on Walk 10 (see details below)

Explaining how the day unfolded, the Revd Julia Bartholomew, a Minister in Rhos-on-Sea, said: “Somehow this walk embodied all the walks that had gone before.”

Every Saturday, pilgrims of all ages had travelled by foot, bus, train and car from one church to the next of the 12 churches taking part.

“It was a bright blustery day, and this was certainly not a ‘walk in the park’,” continued Julia. “Between gasps for breath, we told our stories. As we walked, our different church structures, worship styles, theologies, all disappeared in the background. Instead, we found common ground through sharing our own real-life stories, our hopes and dreams, our struggles with life, with church, with faith.”

Along the way the team paused for a lunch break at a scenic mountain stream in the shelter of a drystone wall, on the south side of Foel Lus.

Jubilee pilgrims pausing for some lunch on the final leg of the journey.

“The climb of nearly 1500 feet had been tough, the wind was fierce, and we didn’t all have the most suitable footwear, but as we sat and shared our lunch, we realised how through our openness to travelling together on this path, God had brought us together in a place of refuge and refreshment,” added Julia.

“It was our delight to realise that as churches, we are not left to struggle alone in the face of an ever changing and seemingly indifferent world. We have brothers and sisters in Christ on our doorsteps with whom we can share our joys, pray together and explore new ways of speaking Jesus’ love into our communities.”

Jubilee pilgrims being refreshed at at St Paul’s United Church in Penmaenmawr.

At the end of the journey, the group were welcomed at St Paul’s United Church in Penmaenmawr, a Methodist and URC local ecumenical partnership, with bowls of soup, cake, and mugs of tea followed by worship.

The walk took place across 11 weeks and included infants to people aged over 70 with the groups covering more than 90 kilometers it total. Some walkers included four generations of the same family.

Pilgrims aged seven to 70 walking from Rhos-on-Sea to Llandudno.

The pilgrims walked from:

Walk 1 – Salisbury Park URC, Wrexham to Tyddyn Street United Church, Mold

Walk 2 – Tyddyn Street United Church, to St John’s URC, Buckley

Walk 3 – St John’s URC to Ewloe Green Presbyterian Church

Walk 4 – Ewloe Green to Rivertown URC, Shotton

Walk 5 – Rivertown URC to St John’s URC, Flint and Bagillt

Walk 6 – St John’s URC to Tabernacle URC, Holywell

Walk 7 – Tabernacle URC to Horeb Chapel, Dyserth

Walk 8 – Horeb Chapel to United Church, Rhyl

Walk 9 – United Church, Rhyl to Rhos-on-Sea URC

Walk 10 – Rhos-on-Sea URC to Gloddaeth United Church, Llandudno.

Walk 11 – Gloddaeth United Church to St Paul’s United Church, Penmaenmawr.

Find full details here.


North Wales pilgrimage marks URC’s jubilee – August 2022