The Old Way – Inaugural Wallk

Muddy but Marvellous!

On 22nd March, forty of us, including a golden labrador, walked the Loop of The Old Pilgrim Way which runs from St Nicholas’ Arundel, via St Leonard South Stoke and St Mary North Stoke – thence back to where we started on the west side of the R Arun.  The day was grey and there was a light rain which produced plenty of mud.  But the walkers, cheerful and determined, enjoyed the stunning variety of the terrain through Arundel Park with its amazing views, down to South Stoke in its hidden valley, across the bridge and into the atmospheric meanders of the Arun; through the lush meadows leading up to North Stoke on its promontory above the far side of the River.  Here we paused for tea.  At St Nicholas we were given a blessing as we set out, and at each Church there were prayers which linked us to each of the Patron Saints, thus providing an important focus for our Walk.  We were accompanied by Canon David Twinley of Arundel and South Stoke, and The Reverend Gerry Burgess of Amberley-with-North Stoke.  We were also joined from Kent by Dawn Champion of the British Pilgrimage Trust which has done so much to promote The Old Way, the newly-discovered mediaeval pilgrim route from Southampton to Canterbury.  Nick Watts of the Churches Conservation Trust also joined us from Rochester.  Our experienced walk Leader Paul Wilkinson ensured that we all arrived safely at journey’s end, after an energetic and companionable day.
Maps of the route are available in all three of the churches on the route, as well as in Amberley and Wiggonholt Churches in the United Benefice.