Launch of the Royal Saxon Way – Day 3

31 Aug Bishopsbourne

On the third day of our pilgrimage, we started off at Bishopsbourne.  It was another bright and sunny day.  We headed to St Peter’s, Bridge where sadly we were not able to see inside the church because there was a service of dedication in progress for a new stained glass window.  We marked this down for a return trip soon, and headed on across Bifrons Park and the old bridge to St Mary’s, Patrixbourne.

31 Aug Bifrons

After Canterbury, St Mary’s is now “Pilgrimage Central” for Kent as so many routes seem to pass through it.  We then made the short hop to St Peter’s, Bekesbourne where we had a wonderfully enthusiastic welcome.

31 Aug welcome at Bekesbourne

There are some lovely medieval sculptures on the door as you enter the church.

31 Aug Bekesbourne heads

Next stop was the ruined medieval chapel at Well, the source of the Little Stour.  The river Nailbourne joins the Little Stour and this point.

31 Aug Well Chapel

After Well, we headed for St Vincent’s, Littlebourne.  The surprising connection with the theme of our pilgrimage route is that relics of St Vincent of Zarragossa were brought back from Spain by Charibert I, King of the Franks, who was great great uncle of Queen Ethelburga, who founded the church at Lyminge.

31 Aug Ickham

The next stop was St John the Evangelist, Ickham, which has Anglo-Saxon origins, being granted by King Offa to Christ Church, Canterbury in 781.

Our last stop of the day was at St Andrew’s, Wickhambreaux.

31 Aug Wickhambreaux

Well, the church was not quite our final stop of the day, as the Rose Inn provided very welcome refreshment.

31 Aug journey's end 1

So we have completed 3 days of walking and we have one more day to go.  We will be walking to Minster-in-Thanet on Sunday.  If you would like to join us for Evensong at St Mary’s, Minster, the service starts at 18.30.  Please come along and help us to celebrate the launch of the Royal Saxon Way!




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