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Highs and lows of Bishop's pilgrimage

Date: 10 July 2014
A LOT CAN happen in three days. The weather can swing from tropical sun to torrential downpours, the desperate hopes of a win for Britain in sport this year can be dashed, and thousands of year six students can begin to say goodbye to their primary schools across the country.

In three days one could also raise more than £2,500 to help save Guildford Cathedral as part of MAKE YOUR MARK by walking 30 miles across the Pilgrims’ Way, as Bishop Ian finished doing yesterday afternoon.

“I wondered whether something terrible would happen, like the weather would be absolutely dreadful or I’d pull a muscle or something like that, and I always thought about how on earth I would reimburse people for all this money they’ve sponsored me with!” Bishop Ian said.

“But fortunately that hasn’t happened. The high points were literally the high points, bits we’ve seen and looked from and seen wonderful views. Seen parts of Surrey you can only see by going on those routes really not just on the main roads.”

The Guildford Cathedral Appeal is within striking distance of achieving its first phase target of £1.3million by its end of August deadline, which will allow it to submit an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a significant grant towards the total £7 million required to save the cathedral.

'This is our main church and it needs support and care'

The cathedral’s crumbling plaster containing asbestos was highlighted by The Times newspaper and the BBC in June, and urgently needs to be removed from the ceiling. Sound and lighting systems are also in desperate need of improvement.

Parishes across the diocese supported Bishop Ian on his travels, offering prayers and blessings, as well as supporting the cathedral by holding events to raise money for the appeal.

Bishop Ian continued: “It’s not about sponsoring me so much as actually recognising that the cathedral is a place worth supporting, that’s why I’m doing this.

“There it is sitting on a hill, it’s quite a statement built where it was. I think it’s saying something about the nature of what it means to be a Christian, to be a member of the Church of England in this part of the world, in Surrey.

“This is Guildford Diocese and this is its main church and it needs support and care, so let’s support it and care for it.”

To support Bishop Ian and the cathedral, go to: or:

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