Last year, an estimated 1500 pilgrims from across the diocese and region took part in the now traditional Boxing Day Pilgrimage from Ripon Cathedral to Fountains Abbey.
For the first time, the ever-popular four mile walk was led by Bishop James Bell (pictured right) who was joined by the new Dean of Ripon, (pictured left) the Very Revd John Dobson both taking part on their first Boxing Day pilgrimage.
This year, on December 26th, the Pilgrimage will again take place led by Bishop James, the Bishop of Ripon and by Dean John.
After a short service of Holy Communion at 9.30am in the Cathedral, the walk sets out at approximately 10.15am
It follows in the footsteps of a group of Cistercian monks who set out the day after Christmas, 1132 AD to found a new Cistercian monastery at Fountains on the banks of the River Skell.
The route leads of of the city along the River Skell out , through the Studley Royal Deer Park and on to the National Trust site at Fountains Abbey. Hundreds more swell the numbers as the walkers enter the National Trust grounds and all pack into the cellarium of the ancient monastery where mulled wine is served and a service of carols takes place.
Pictured (below left) are the Stray Brass Ensemble who lwill lead the carols.
The route crosses fields, passes grazing deer and winds through woods and landscaped water gardens, and has been taking place since the 1980's in all weathers from snowy winter wonderlands to bright dry sunshine.
Bishop James says "From remembering Stephen, the first witness to give his life for faith in Christ, through to remembering the faith of those who founded Fountains, this is a great journey to make, and I’m excited to be joining the pilgrimage in the company of all who want to enjoy this wonderful walk!"