Traditional Boxing Day pilgrimage has new leaders

For the first time in over a decade the annual Boxing Day Pilgrimage from Ripon Cathedral to Fountains Abbey will be led by a new face.

The annual Boxing Day Pilgrimage from Ripon Cathedral to Fountains Abbey

Bishop James Bell, now the Area Bishop for the Ripon episcopal area in the new diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, was handed the baton last Christmas by the retiring Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, John Packer who had led fourteen previous pilgrimages.

The Bishop will be joined by the new Dean of Ripon, John Dobson, on his first Boxing Day Pilgrimage.

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The four mile walk, which last year attracted more than a thousand walkers, sets out at approximately 10.15am on December 26 following a short service of Holy Communion in the Cathedral.

The route, which crosses fields, passes grazing deer and goes through woods and landscaped water gardens, follows in the footsteps of a group of 12th century Cistercian monks who set off from Ripon Cathedral on December 26th, 1132, to found Fountains Abbey.

Bishop James said he was looking forward to leading his first Pilgrimage saying: “..this is a great journey to make.”