Bishop saddles up for launch of cycle trail

The first group of cyclists head out on the trail.
The first group of cyclists head out on the trail.
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A new north Northumberland cycle trail, which takes in the religious history across the Glendale area, was launched last week.

Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Rev Frank White, headed up a small phalanx of cyclists who started the new Glendale Church Trail on Friday.

Bishop Frank White cuts the ribbon to open the Glendale Church Trail.

Bishop Frank White cuts the ribbon to open the Glendale Church Trail.

The trail covers 19 churches of different denominations and covers a total of 72 miles.

Created by Glendale Alive Partnership (GAP) – an Anglican-led and ecumenical grouping of churches and faith groups in the locality, which has its origins in the growing realisation that it is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain an effective Christian presence in each of the Glendale parishes – the trail appears in both leaflet and website forms.

Jane Pannell, trustee and secretary of GAP, introduced the trail, saying: “The route is suitable for walkers, drivers, cyclists and those on horseback and today we’re launching it with a group of cyclists covering some of the distance.”

In formally blessing the trail, Bishop Frank expressed his pleasure in being able to cycle part of the trail and he pointed to the use of technology in making the trail available to more people.

With QR codes on the leaflet, links are available to those with smartphones to the website and much more information about each church while out and about on the trail.

“This is a time when we’re celebrating the temporary return of the Lindisfarne Gospels to the North East of England,” he said.

“And it comes when, through Inspired North East, we are inviting people to come inside and share with us some of the gems and treasures we have in our buildings – we’re telling the stories and exciting people with what’s on offer, turning tourists into pilgrims.”

For each church, there’s information about its date, special features, accessibility and opening times.

The website contains more information and will be developed by each church over time.

It can be accessed at www.glendalechurchtrail.org.uk

For copies of the leaflet or further information, contact GAP secretary Jane Pannell on 01289 388321 or jane.pannell51@btinternet.com

The churches included on the trail are Branxton, Carham, Chatton, Chillingham, Cornhill, Crookham, Doddington, Eglingham, Etal, Ford, Ilderton, Ingram, Kirknewton, Milfield, Old Bewick, South Charlton, Wooler St Mary’s, Wooler St Ninian’s and Wooler URC.