Pilgrims' Progress, Estella- 12.05.2011

Philipa and Judith say ...
Judith and Philipa have arrived in Estella, in the ancient kingdom of Navarre. On the way they've slept on a laundry floor in a monastery auberge that Philipa mistook for a prison, in a pension in Pamplona and in a so called 'up-market' hotel where they emerged with multiple bruises from false antique fittings. On the whole they preferred the laundry. Philipa is sticking with her resolution to keep clean.

As they stepped through the doors of the port of St Jean-Pied-de-Port, the first thing they saw was 2 donkeys loaded up with baggage. Judith hurried Philipa past before she could start negotiation with the rather handsome donkey keeper. The walk over the Pyrenees was hard, due to the very high winds which made it difficult to stand upright let alone go forward. After a massive storm at Roncesvalles, the weather turned hot and it has not taken many days to realise that the best thing to do is get up at 5.00 a.m. and take advantage of the cool mornings. Philipa is now totally resolved to conduct all church meetings at 6.00 a.m.

They have seen the bones of Charlemagne's army, so many flowers that we try to grow in our gardens growing wild and many sensational bridges (including the bridge of rabies - don't ask). They've met a variety of people along the way and have been offered food by the wonderful locals. Each day brings exciting and refreshing experiences of God, in the words of total strangers and a sense of absolute gratitude invoked by the scenes and stunning beauty and the sense of just being alive.

While she and Judith are making their pilgrimage, Philipa will be sending news bulletins. You will be able to read these here on the parish website in the ‘News’ section – printed copies will also be available in the churches. You can track their route

Photos are being posted to the Photo Gallery, Pilgrims' Progress.