There was standing room only at Burgh Castle church on Saturday 4th October when the annual pilgrimage of the Fursey Pilgrims took place. Joining the pilgrims this year was Fr Nicolas Jouy, the Parish Priest of Peronne in the Somme area of France. St. Fursey died before returning to England from France in the year 650 AD. His shrine was established at Peronne.
The service only took places after the pilgrims had refreshed themselves at the Church
Farm pub. Some had earned a good lunch by walking the Breydon Water path from Great Yarmouth train station. Others had come long distances to honour St.Fursey so they could not be denied a delicious carvery meal looking out across the water to the Berney Arms windpump and the Fleggs.
Pere Nicholas preached the sermon developing the idea of ecumenism as putting the pieces of a jig-saw together – it may seem impossible at first, there should be no attempt to force pieces together where they do not belong, miraculously we find there is a fit between pieces as they come together, the outcome is a clearer picture of the things of God. After the service he led the pilgrims to the ruins of Burgh Castle Roman fort. It was within the walls of the fort that Fursey and his brothers first established their humble monastery and from here they went out to evangelise the people of Norfolk.
Sr. Pam’s new terrier Matthew made his first pilgrimage to Burgh Castle on this day. It was a day of double celebration for him as it coincided with the feast of St. Francis! Having been blessed by Pere Nicholas the pilgrims gathered for tea and delicious cakes courtesy of the ladies of Burgh Castle.
© Richard Woodham 2008