domingo, 31 de mayo de 2009

Peregrinos de otras tierras

Vicar Bob Bates completes 200-mile pilgrimage to the grave of Saint James

A British parish priest leaving for new pastures in Portugal has returned from a 200-mile pilgrimage across Spain to raise cash for his village.
Outgoing Easton-on-the-Hill resident priest Rev Bob Bates –who has also had pastoral responsibility for Collyweston, Wittering, Ketton and Tinwell– travelled from Leon to Santiago de Compostella in the footsteps of St James the Apostle.
After 11 days of walking and sleeping in hostels, Rev Bates' mission was complete as he stepped into the Santiago Cathedral and touched the statue of St James.The completion of the journey marked the culmination of a burning ambition.
"People have asked me whether I enjoyed the trip but it's a different feeling to enjoyment. I feel enriched by the pilgrimage," Rev Bates said.
The popular vicar's ecclesiastical journey managed to raise hundreds of pounds for community causes in Easton-on-the-Hill after people rallied round to sponsor the trek, which is still taking donations via
The 58-year-old, of West Street, cited stunning mountain scenery, camaraderie among the group he travelled with and the sights of wildlife among the highlights - along with the emotional arrival at his destination.
After four years serving the area Rev Bates is now moving to take up a chaplaincy at St Vincent's Algarve in Portugal.
He thanked the community for their support. "I have happy memories in my time here. God called me to move on and I'm now looking forward to the new challenge," he added.

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