A Note of our Walk on 19 March 2016
Some brief reflections on our St Cuthbert's Day Walk
Those who have done the St Cuthbert’s Day walk from Chester-le-Street to Durham over the ten years or so that it has been a regular feature in the Northumbrian Association calendar can tell heroic tales of battling through atrocious weather conditions. Wind, rain, sleet and snow have all conspired at various times to make the walk a challenge to even the hardy folk tempted to venture out at the end of March.
No addition can be made to those tales following our walk this year on 19th March. Whilst the weather was overcast, with heavy cloud covering the sky throughout the walk, the walking conditions were good and what threat there was of rain proved to be no more than that and everyone stayed dry.
We started the walk in the Parish Church of St Mary and St Cuthbert in Chester-le-Street where Revd. David Tulley welcomed the walkers and explained the significance of Chester-le-Street in the story of St Cuthbert. As we cannot always have access to the church at the beginning of the walk it is always special when we can.
Sixty nine walkers left the church, including Revd. Tulley and his wife, on the first stage of the walk through the park and up to Lumley. Unfortunately two of the walkers hadn’t heeded the advice about sturdy footwear so our band was reduced to sixty seven.
At Lumley we paused to take in the view across to the Angel, Lumley Castle and, eliciting different reactions depending on your love or otherwise of cricket, the new floodlights dominating the landscape in the near distance.
There was no difference of opinion at our next stop at Finchale Priory with all agreeing it is a wonderful spot. As usual we all enjoyed our serving of home made broth and a bun generously provided by Northumbrian Water, long term supporters of the Association.
In good spirit we then moved on to the Market Place in Durham to collect the Banner of St Cuthbert and ready ourselves for the final procession, accompanied by marvellous music played on mediaeval bagpipes and drum, to the Cathedral. A warm welcome for the Chester-Le-Street walkers and those joining the procession in the Market Place was waiting at the Cathedral.
Picture courtesy of John Attle
After a short service the Banner was processed through the Cathedral and returned safely to the Shrine of St Cuthbert concluding another walk and what was agreed was a very successful day.
We look forward to next year and the opportunity to walk together again in memory of St Cuthbert.