A group of motorcycling clergy from ther diocese have returned from Northern Ireland following a 'pilgrimage' in the tracks of St Patrick.
Eight bikes carrying 11 clergy and two lay couples set off by ferry from Liverpool last week travelling to the religious community of Corrymeela in Ballycastle on the north east coast of northern Ireland. The community was set up during the troubles to bring Protestants and Catholics together and the group will join in daily worship, breakfast and some meals.
They also went up the mountain where St Patrick, a slave shepherd had his first vision – and to the site of his burial.
The 'Revs' are members of the ‘West Yorkshire and the Dales Motor Cycle Club’ which was formed from clergy and lay motorbike enthusiasts when the new diocese began two years ago. The group now has 25 members and enjoy to runs out every year – one in spring and one in the autumn.
Their journey took them to the most northern point in Ireland – Malin Point – passing the H Block camp – and from there down into the walled city of Derry.
This trip follows last year’s trip to Iona when the group travelled in the footsteps of St Colombia – and they are already planning a trip to Wales for St David next year.
The Revd Stephen Kelly, Vicar of Woolley and West Bretton in the Wakefield Area was one of the founding members, and he explained: “We started as an interest group across the diocese and have just grown.
“There’s something about riding motorbikes together – the great outdoors – being in touch with the elements – enjoying the roads, the scenery and of course, the camaraderie of it. We look out for each other,” he added.
Above-- the group at Corrymeela