Our first stop was at the Cathedral, seen here from the East in Inez’s fine painting for our pilgrimage from Dover. We visited the West front and the main SW door to see and reflect upon some of the statues on the outside.
Lord God, we have come to the site of the first cathedral in England and think about some of the people who have helped bring us to this day through their faithfulness to your call: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha, and St Augustine.
We thank you that they were able to continue when things became difficult, never losing sight of your plan. Help us like them to be courageous and steadfast, and help us to show our love for you in our dealings with one another, so that we successfully fulfil our role in bringing about your kingdom on earth.
Loving Father, make us loving like you.
We walked on to the pilgrim stone by the South door into the crypt, through which we could hear the organ and choir. We were not thinking of walking to Rome that evening!
Lord, we stand before the stone commemorating the many thousands of pilgrims who have come to Canterbury via the Pilgrims’ Way, as well as those making the long journey on foot from Canterbury to Rome. We are grateful for their witness to us as they walked to find communion with you and seek your will, sharing their journey with companions and sustaining each other along the way.
May we too help and support each other on our journey, sharing with one another our thoughts on you and our experience of your loving care.
Lord, send us forth on our journey through life with hope in our hearts, with love for one another and with a clear vision of your plan for our lives.
We moved on to Queningate (Queen’s gate) where Queen Bertha used to walk from the palace, which stood where the Cathedral now is, on her way to Mass at St Martin’s church, the oldest place of continuing Christian worship in England.
Lord, we come now to Queen Bertha’s gate, through which she passed on her way to your house, one of the very few people in the country who were faithful to Christianity. Make us like her, we pray, conscious of our role as a public witness and as a guide for our families in choosing the right path to take.
As we follow the route she took to your church, make us mindful of the concern she must have had for her husband, and her desire that he would come to know the true God.
Help us, like her, to show daily concern for our nearest and dearest, the people you have entrusted to us.
For the sake of your son, our Lord. Amen