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Pilgrims complete virtual trek to Jerusalem by Palm Sunday

EASTER PILGRIMAGE: 45 Earley residents joined the challenge to walk 3,264 miles.

A GROUP of Earley residents have finished their virtual pilgrimage to Jerusalem, in time for Easter weekend.

On Sunday, the 45-strong group completed their final walks, to make up the 3,264 mile journey.

Liz Kerry organised the pilgrimage under the social media structure of St Nicholas Church, in Earley — although many people joined from outside the church too. 

“It was fantastic to finish on Palm Sunday, a day of celebration,” she said. “It was really special, and I’m incredibly proud of these people that have worked and supported each other.”

The group included some runners, who helped clock up the miles Ms Kerry said. Others joining included everyone from dog walkers to people that use wheelchairs. 

“Lots of people had their own personal reasons for joining,” Ms Kerry said. “One person was injured in the first lockdown and was walking for rehabilitation — they needed the group to push them to go out and walk.

“Another said it was the second time they had left the house in a year,” she said. “It was a bit ramshackle, but anyone could join for whatever reason. I think that’s more historically accurate, as pilgrims tend to be a ramshackle group too.”

The group spent five and a half weeks walking, in order to reach the goal.

And on the evening of Saturday, February 27, they reached the alps — the same night as the annual snow moon, thought to mark the beginning of spring.

“It has been totally amazing,” Ms Kerry added. “I’ve not quite worked out why it was so special, but there was something about it. I think the combination of humanity moving together.

“It was incredible how walking around the park was part of my journey to Jerusalem.” 

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