Dozens make Holy Island pilgrimage


Dozens of people from across the UK have completed an annual pilgrimage to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne on Good Friday.

Starting earlier this week, some groups walked more than 100 miles - leaving from different points of the country including Lanark, Carlisle, and Bellingham - to reach the island off the Northumberland coast.

Each group carried a large wooden cross on their journey to the island which was once home to St Cuthbert and where the world famous Lindisfarne Gospels were created.

A monastery was founded on Lindisfarne in 635 by King Oswald but was attacked in 793 by the Vikings in their first major raid on the British Isles.

Pilgrims usually complete the final part of the journey over the causeway to Lindisfarne bare foot but the cold water was too much for some this year.

Once on the island the wooden crosses are decorated as part of Easter celebrations.

The Northern Cross pilgrimage started 40 years ago with a group walking from Penrith to the Holy Island.

Coordinator Ellie Feline said: "It might often be thought pilgrimage is a historic activity, yet Christian pilgrimage is very much alive, demonstrated yearly by the five million people who go to Lourdes, or the 200,000 who walk the Camino di Santiago.

"Northern Cross is another example of this. A combination of walking holiday and retreat - on pilgrimage we are removed from many trappings of modern living, and just require whatever can be carried in a small bag.

"It's a chance to mirror life, to step back and look to see what is really important."