Friday, July 20, 2012

St.Olav's Wirral Viking Pilgrimage 2012

Dear all,
Can I bring to your attention details of this year’s St.Olav's Day Wirral Viking Heritage walk/Pilgrimage:
This year’s walk (the 5th annual walk) goes from the site of the old Viking church at St. Bridget's in West Kirby (where there is the famous Viking hogback tombstone and also a dedication to St. Olav) to another church with strong Viking roots - St. Mary and St. Helen in Neston, where there are the fragments of at least 3 Viking crosses, one of which has been magnificently rebuilt into a painted replica featuring a Viking lady with her arm touchingly around the waste of her husband. We meet outside St. Bridget’s Church at 11.30. After a demonstration of the St. Bridget's Viking stone (and the dedication to St. Olav) around 11.40 (please do not go into the Church before this unless you are attending the morning service at 10am) and a blessing by Rev John Bleazard the walk proceeds along the Wirral Way & along our beautiful coastline, stopping for a break at the Thurstaston Visitor Centre, through Heswall and onto Neston, finishing with a cup of tea (& possibly like last year with scouse/lapskaus) and a demonstration of the Viking stonework - and the replica inside the Church.
Last years walk (which went from Neston to Chester) was recently broadcast as part of BBC2’s The Great British Story with Michael Wood – you can still see this here:

As in previous years, the July 29th 2012 walk will require a reasonable level of fitness to complete the full distance of 8 miles or 12km.  As before it will also be possible to join in for only part of the walk (e.g. joining or leaving us at the Thurstaston Visitor Centre, where we will be having a break). In common with the main St. Olav’s Pilgrimage in Norway, although we provide a guide, you come at your own risk and are responsible for yourselves.  You would also responsible for making your own transport arrangements from Neston at the end of the walk.  It may be possible for groups to share a taxi back to West Kirby.

In the interests of safety we need to give the police an idea of numbers so if you intend coming please email me  by Saturday 28th July, 4pm. Details and the background behind the walk can be found here.

Best wishes
Steve Harding
Knight of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit