On Palm Sunday, Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) at Felixstowe hosted pilgrims from the Essex Leg of Student Cross 2015 at the Seafarers Centre.
The 19 pilgrims were from Great Britain and other parts of the world and were welcomed by AoS Felixstowe port chaplain Sr Marian Davey and ship visitors David Offord and Julian Wong.
It was a very wet morning but that did not dampen their spirits, and the hot cross buns and tea and coffee on offer helped sustain them for the next leg of their journey.
Among the group were three Franciscan brothers, a priest, two Dutch ladies, an American man and pilgrims from Dorset, Salisbury, Wetherby and London. Many have been taking part in Student Cross for many years now.
Pilgrim Alex Theodossiadis, who is 20 years old, said that this was his 21st pilgrimage! Group leader Ian Bone has been doing the pilgrimage for 31 years while Alison Gelder has been doing it for 39 years since 1976.
Before leaving the centre, the group spent a short time in the chapel during which Sr Marian gave a brief explanation about the work of the AoS and its ministry providing pastoral and practical support to seafarers. Fr Vincent from the group spoke about the Last Supper and the Passion.
Sr Marian also handed the group packets of dried mango from Cebu, Philippines, a gift from seafarers to take along with them on their pilgrimage.
They then set off on the next leg of their journey carrying the heavy wooden cross and will reach Walsingham on Good Friday where they will be joined by other ‘Legs’ of the Student Cross.
Alison Gelder, one of the pilgrims, later sent us an email to say they arrived safely. "We really enjoyed the mango at a couple of stops on our way, including on Good Friday, and we prayed for all the seafarers and for people like you who are supporting them so well," she said.
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