Thoughts and reflections

Category: pilgrimage

Pilgrimage… looking beyond

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Dead Sea, Rev'd Sue Martin

The Dead Sea… is it an angel or a cloud overhead? Rev’d Sue Martin

A sense of adventure and an abiding faith have led me to many different places. Journeys beyond home beckon with intrigue and desire. Travelling across borders, known and unknown are full of awe and wonder.

Plans are developing to bring those pilgrimages into homes, a ‘sofa pilgrimage’.

In October 2024 I will start with Assisi, as it is now, and following in the footsteps of St Francis. More info will follow through the summer.

In the meantime  take a look at the Walkabout pages to get a sense of my journeys.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Basilica of St Francis of Assisi

Basilica of St Francis of Assisi


Papua New Guinea Bishop of Norwich Lent Appeal 2024 The Water of Life

Ten years ago I went to Papua New Guinea on a pilgrimage with the Diocese of Norwich.

Since then I continue to be active in supporting projects to help people in that country. In 2024 we are hoping to raise enough money to supply water tanks for the student accommodation at Newton Theological College. This will bring then freshwater and enable sanitation too.

A great project and to get the appeal started, three of the committee at the Diocese of Norwich PNG Link group, including myself, are presenting a series of talks at Norwich Cathedral Library this Saturday morning.

More info will be posted Saturday afternoon.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Caesarea Philippi

‘On this rock, I will build my church’  Matthew 16,v 17.

Caesarea Philippi is a peaceful place; it is the source of the River Jordan and the rushing streams are clear and pure as they descend from the rocks. It is a true joy to put your hand in this water and feel so refreshed. It is close to the Golan Heights and Syria and not far from the Sea of Galilee.

This beautiful place has springs which are invitingly clear with clean water rushing through toward the Jordan. The old cave and temples of ancient pagan worshippers was the site where Jesus came with his disciples as a turning point in Jesus ministry. He was heading to Jerusalem and Jesus needed to know that his disciples were with him. He asked Peter there if he would look after his church.

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church.

And we have our own life plans, not known to us until we have walked some of that journey. Day by day they become clear and as we all journey along that path we know that Jesus and God are with us, before us, behind us, at our side and above us, carrying us when we need that help.

And so on our journeys let us use the gifts that God has given us.

Read more in Sermons 2020

Rev’d Sue Martin

Have we locked God in the church?

Have we really locked God in the church along with the pews? Did we firmly turn the key and slide the bolt so we can’t get in and He can’t get out?

Over the last week , or is it two… all the churches have been locked. Understandably church goers are distressed. Where can they go to pray and worship? Is anybody doing anything?

But out of sadness there comes joy,and out of a locked church emerges online services. Numbers for people listening in to a service of their choice is huge, larger than church attendance by far. So, now is the time to reach out and offer help and support to all those who are getting in touch.

And, no, of course we haven’t locked God in the church, how could we. He is out there, with us, walking with us through this crisis, reaching out to all who ask.

And all we have to do is to ask, to pray and to find Him in our lives  today.


Rev’d Sue Martin

Places and travels

At the end of my travels to the Holy Land we found these beautiful anemones at Abu Gosh, the site of Emmaus.

But lets start with the travels of Jesus. His own pilgrimage, in a sense, places he walked to, he didn’t have a coach or a car or a bike. He  used a donkey from time to time, but generally he walked. Places where he performed miracles, gathered his disciples, went into the wilderness, and places where he met with God. Travels in the wilderness, travels into towns and villages.

In our own pilgrimage to the Holy Land 2020, we followed in his footsteps and walked in his ways. And now challenged to bring back to others the sights, the sounds and the knowledge we have gained.

Sermon for 3rd Sunday in Lent follows our journey and also relates to the Samaritan woman at the well; John 4: 5-42.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Lent Course, A Journey to the Holy Land


As part of our discovery about our own journeys we are looking at parts of the Holy Land; Galilee, Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Sacred places, walking in the footsteps of Jesus, 2000 years on in our own time with changes and challenges but still a deep sense of God’s presence.

The Holy Land is the place in which Jesus grew up and carried out his ministry. It is an area about the size of Wales, although it has many different parts.

Physically it is set on the edge, the edge of the Mediterranean and Europe, the edge of The Middle East and Africa.

The valley of the River Jordan is a rift valley and is the deepest valley in the world. It develops from the Sea of Galilee and continues to the Dead Sea. Further south it reaches the Red Sea.

It is featured many time in the Old and New Testament. It continues to this day to be a place of friction and war.

Read more at Lent Course 2019 as the journey evolves over four weeks in Lent

Rev’d Sue Martin

First Steps to Santiago

Pilgrims en route,

Pilgrims en route,from Norwich Diocese another time

Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford sets out on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. His first steps are recorded on his twitter feed as he heads off along the Camino del Norte.

The start of a pilgrimage can be so exciting, an adventure in the making.  To have arrived at the point of setting out is a journey in itself. No doubt for Bishop Stephen it will have taken some organising to have released himself from his day to day tasks and the pressures and joys of ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford.

We are very fond of pilgrimages!! Journeying, setting out, exploration, discovery, walking with God, what could be better than that!

Faith Goes Walkabout is in essence about finding your way, taking first steps, exploring, looking beyond what you first see. On a pilgrimage your mind becomes freer and walking with God along a path or a route helps you find your way. You may not even be lost but God will find you.

Last year was a busy pilgrimage year and with the Diocese of Norwich travelled to the

Holy Land with Pilgrimage People and Papua New Guinea.

We wish Bishop Stephen well on his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Faith Goes Walkabout

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