Sunday, 24 May 2020

#NeighbourhoodPilgrimage #ExploringEaster

Welcome to our first ever ‘Neighbourhood Pilgrimage’! 

A pilgrimage, traditionally, is a journey to somewhere special, somewhere holy. The destination is important, but so is the journey to get there. For people of faith, we expect to encounter God along the way, to experience God journeying with us.

This pilgrimage has been put together by members of Hodge Hill Church, as an invitation for anyone living in the Hodge Hill area to go on a journey around our neighbourhood. We believe that there are places of beauty in our neighbourhood, if our eyes are open to notice them. And we also know that there are many, many acts of quiet love, care and creativity going on between neighbours that are worth noticing, discovering and celebrating.

Especially in these strange and challenging times, when we’re all trying to live safely and carefully to minimize the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19, we’re learning to live in our neighbourhood, and love our neighbours, in new ways. Some of those might just be temporary. Some might be a glimpse of a ‘new world’ that we’re building together, that will last well beyond COVID-19.

You can download the full booklet here, which will help guide you on your pilgrimage, encourage you to notice aspects of your neighbourhood you might never have noticed before, and help you reflect on what you notice along the way. It’s organized into a trail of 11 ‘stations’ – each one has a picture, a little bit of the Easter story (from the Christian gospels, the stories of Jesus’ encounters with his friends, after his crucifixion and resurrection), and some ‘wondering’ questions to reflect on. You don’t have to start at the beginning – you can begin wherever you find yourself. If you can, we want to encourage you to visit all the stations, but don’t worry if you are only able to do a few.

There are one or two activities we’ve suggested here (see below), that you might want to do before you go on your neighbourhood pilgrimage – and there’s an opportunity at the end to share your photos and reflections with others, via our new neighbourhood website: 

Go in love, go in peace, go safely, and may you catch glimpses of a new world along the way!

Before you set out on your pilgrimage walk: 

You might want to do two activities in advance – things to make, to bring with you on your walk…
  • For the 2nd Station:
I wonder what, or who, helps you when you feel afraid?

ACTIVITY: Write or draw a ‘thank you note’ to anyone who’s been an ‘angel’ recently – and bring it with you.

  • For the 6th Station:
I wonder what change or new beginning you long for?
(It could be a change or new beginning in your own life and relationships, or in our neighbourhood, or in our world.)
And how you could help to make it happen?

ACTIVITY: On a piece of paper, write or draw a picture of a change or new beginning you long for – and bring it with you.

Locations (see map below):

·         1st Station: Mary Magdalene finds the empty tomb

o   The Hub, on the parade of shops on Bromford Drive: B36 8TY

·         2nd Station – an angel appears to the women

o   Rope swing area at the back of Comet Park, behind Hollowmeadow House, off Bromford Drive: B36 8RD
(what.three.words = heavy.slices.factor)

·         3rd Station – Mary Magdalene meets Jesus

o   Ambridge House allotments, off Folkestone Croft: B36 8RA

·         4th Station – two friends meet Jesus as they are travelling

o   Bus stop / post box at the corner of Chipperfield Rd & Collingbourne Ave

·         5th Station - Jesus appears to his friends

o   Tesco Express, 32-36 Chipperfield Road: B36 8BL

·         6th Station – Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of a new world

o   The wooden cross at Hodge Hill Church, 242 Coleshill Road: B36 8BG

·         7th Station - Jesus gives his peace to his friends, to share with the world

o   The bus stop outside Hodge Hill Church (as above)

·         8th Station – Jesus gives his friends the Holy Spirit

o   The Hunters Moon pub, 220 Coleshill Road: B36 8BE

·         9th Station - Jesus shows his wounds to Thomas

o   The bench on the open, upper part of Hodge Hill Common towards the houses (what.three.words = ears.gifted.useful)

·         10th Station - Jesus cooks breakfast for his friends

o   At the front of The Raven pub, 144 Hodge Hill Road: B34 6DR

·         11th Station – Jesus helps Peter remember, and begin again

o   Down the Cole Valley footpath about 300m (to the left from The Raven) – at the foot-bridge over to Glebe Farm (what.three.words = raft.belong.hangs). NB. can also be accessed a short way down the footpath from Cole Hall Lane.

What if I can’t go out at the moment?

We realise that there are some of you that would love to do this pilgrimage ‘out and about’, but because of the infectious risks of COVID-19 are currently in ‘shielding’ at home. We hope there might be ways in which you can still feel part of the pilgrimage experience.

On the day(s) of the ‘out and about’ pilgrimage, we will encourage people to take photos and share them – via our neighbourhood website Look out for these, when the time comes.

You can spend time reflecting on each station in this booklet, and could move around your house, and in your garden (or balcony), as you do them. Some possible locations could include:
  1. by your front door (a place that might often be locked, and sometimes open)
  2. standing on your door-step (where angels – and messengers – might sometimes come)
  3. in your garden, balcony or next to a plant/flower in your house
  4. on your driveway – or, if you can’t go out, holding a map (a place where a journey might begin)
  5. at your meal table, or sitting room (a place where you would usually enjoy the company of others)
  6. looking out of a window (to see the world beyond)
  7. opening the window (to share God’s peace with others)
  8. holding your phone (to communicate with others)
  9. in your bedroom (a place where we dare to expose our bodies – to ourselves, and sometimes to others)
  10. in the kitchen (a place for making – and sharing? – a meal)
  11. in the bathroom (the place of bathing/washing – remembering our baptism and other new beginnings)
We’d love you to share your reflections, when you’ve done the pilgrimage, in whatever way you’ve been able – via our neighbourhood website:


‘Raised in Leeds’ are 19 illustrations by Si Smith of Jesus Christ’s appearances after the resurrection. They are drawn as though they took place in and around Leeds, a city in the North of England. Each illustration is inspired by a scripture text which is next to the station title in this booklet.

Ian Adams wrote some reflections and prayers to go with Si Smith’s pictures. We have used Ian’s words as inspiration for the words in this booklet, but they have mostly been written or re-written especially for our context here in Hodge Hill.

This booklet has been put together by Ruth Harley (the ‘wondering’ questions) and Al Barrett from Hodge Hill Church. If you’d like to find out more about us, and/or get involved with what we’re doing here, do get in touch:

Facebook: /HodgeHillChurch

Twitter: @hodgehillchurch