This year, over the Easter weekend, there were two walks setting out from Milton church. On Good Friday we set out walking to Idbury and, on the Saturday, there was a family walk from the church across the fields to Milton Baptist chapel which had stations along the way depicting the Easter events. Geoffrey Clement, Jo Barham and Jenny Miller report on these popular events.
The Good Friday walk is really a version of what is commonly called The Stations of the Cross. These form part of Christian devotion during Lent to engage actively with the path of suffering walked by Jesus. They originated when early Christians visited Jerusalem and wanted to literally follow in the footsteps of Jesus, tracing the path from Pilate’s house to Calvary.
At 10:30 we set out walking as a socially distanced group of 14 plus one dog. We went out through the allotments and off towards Fifield via Bruern. Along the way we paused to read and reflect on parts of the Bible story about that journey Jesus made towards crucifixion. I must add that it is not a ‘doom and gloom’ walk; we enjoyed the beauty of the outdoors and being in the open air with each other.
We arrived at Fifield around midday and stopped in the churchyard to eat a packed lunch before setting off again across the fields for Idbury. At Idbury the walk culminated with a church service.
I ought to add a word of thanks to Anne Hartley and her team who worked hard to organise the walk and ensure that we could all keep to the relevant Covid guidelines.
So that was Friday – a rather different walk took place the following day: Following the success of the Christmas display and Star Trail around Milton in December, Easter provided yet another brilliant opportunity to shake off the cobwebs, stretch our legs after the midwinter nap and follow a trail of a different kind around the village. This time, The Easter Journey, featured an immersive story experience with stations along the route re-telling the week leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, as told in the Bible. The intention was to get us walking, talking and thinking through the historical truth of Easter which is so easily lost to chocolate and the Easter bunny!
The trail was a great success with all 80 bags of goodies given away at the beautifully constructed empty tomb, complete with the folded grave clothes at The Wychwood Baptist Church. Here, trailblazers were invited to write comments on their highlights of the trail.
They mentioned the ‘Last Supper’ in St Simon and St Jude’s Church with ‘real bread and wine’ (blackcurrant squash!), a real Roman Centurion guarding the tomb, and beautifully decorated Easter biscuits, not to mention the hot coffee on a cold morning; these all featured highly in the feedback!
There was also a chance to pass by the Milton Craft Café and pick up some Easter holiday activities. Hopefully, the trail provided a chance to reflect on why we celebrate Easter. So, potentially some seeds of thought were sown along with the sunflower seeds given out to the children, now popping up all over the Wychwoods. (We are pleased to record that the Roman centurion made a speedy recovery from the hypothermia to his nether regions!)