St Sigfrid’s Pilgrims

Welcome to St Sigfrid’s Pilgrims

Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?” Matthew 19 v27

 

St Sigfrid’s Pilgrims visit St Botolph’s Northfleet, enroute from York to Växjö in Sweden.

 

Arriving between 5 and 6pm on Wednesday 30th June, Hugh, Bethany and Monika will share in a short worship service and refreshments before their rest days. 

 

On Saturday 3rd July everyone is welcome to gather at St Botolph’s Church for worship at 10am before the Pilgrims leave to walk to Rochester. Walkers are invited to join them for all or part of this next stage of their journey. 

 

The St Sigfrid’s Way is an epic pilgrimage route spanning just over 760 miles.

Named after an 11th Century pilgrim, it begins in Sigfrid’s home city of York and arches down the spine of England through a spectrum of urban and rural landscapes, rich with the history and cultural diversity of the British Isles

South of Oxford it turns east along the Thames, runs through London and Canterbury, and ends by the sea in Ramsgate. It then continues in Sweden from Göteborg to Växjö, where Sigfrid built a church and exemplified the way of nonviolence and peace.

While rooted in the Christian tradition, St Sigfrid’s Way is open to all who feel the call to make pilgrimage. The only faith you need is in your feet for walking the path, and in your heart for embracing the unknown.

There are multiple destinations along the way, both geographical and spiritual. You may feel the call to walk certain sections, or to walk the whole path. You may be walking in communion with saints and mystics, or with the land and the trees, or both. Let your feet and heart guide the way; personally trodden, communally shared.

 

St Sigfrid’s is a work (or a walk) in progress, and it is a collaborative endeavour

Lord God, we thank you

for calling us into the company

of those who trust in Christ

and seek to obey his will.

May your Spirit guide and strengthen us

in mission and service to your world;

for we are strangers no longer

but pilgrims together on the way to your Kingdom.

Amen.

www.stsigfridstrust.org

Facebook St Sigfrid’s Way

How we can support them

Pray for the Pilgrims, for their safety and stamina.

Pray for the places they visit on the way, and for those they meet. 

Follow their progress on Facebook

Join us for worship at 10am on Saturday 3rd July by the gate at St Botolph’s Church.

Walk part or whole of the way to Rochester with them.

 

St Sigfrid

Sigfrid, says the legend, was an Archbishop of York who became known as the Apostle of Sweden.

​Along with three of his nephews, Unaman, Sunaman and Vinaman, Sigfrid was sent to King Olaf of Norway by the English King Ethelred in 995. Olaf had converted to Christianity whilst living in England during a period of exile from Sweden and on his return had requested the help of the English king in his attempt to bring Christianity to his household and country. It was the intention of Ethelred that Sigfrid would not only work for the conversion of Norway, but of Sweden too.

On arriving in Sweden, Sigfrid built a church at Växjö. He consecrated his nephews as bishops, and left to evangelize other parts of Sweden.

​Whilst he was away, his nephews were murdered, and Sigfrid’s church in Växjö was burnt to the ground. Those responsible for the deaths and the arson were caught, but when Sigfrid returned to Växjö he pleaded with the king that those perpetrators should not be executed. King Olaf agreed to his request, and instead ordered that a large fine be paid. Sigfrid refused to accept any of this money, preferring to rebuild the church without it.

Sigfrid died c.1045 in Växjö after a ministry in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Tradition has ascribed many stories of miracles to Sigfrid, some apparently used dubiously to frighten pagan tribes into accepting Christianity. The history of the spread of the gospel throughout Sweden, Norway and Denmark is difficult to ascertain with any degree of accuracy or impartiality. However, what is not in doubt is the success of the efforts of Sigfrid and others associated with him in bringing Christianity as a constant presence, abiding to this day, in the society of a region in which governments and royalty were constantly changing and battles for supremacy were the norm.

Växjö Cathedral, the building and its continuing worship, is a testimony to Sigfrid’s success, as is the presence and the worship of the nearly 350 churches of the Diocese today.

 

 


Page last updated: 18th June 2021 5:28 PM
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