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OUR MISSION

To revitalise interest in our historic rural and hamlet churches and chapels and their Christian mission in our rural communities. We hope it will generate an interest in people of all faiths and none, who love riding and striding, and the opportunity that pilgrimage offers for spiritual experience and well-being, meeting fellow walkers/pilgrims/riders and connecting with some of the most panoramic natural countryside of the North York Moors.

OUR STORY

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In September 2023 we launched the Upper Ryedale Parish Trail. This year we have extended that trail into a new 41-mile-long trail linking all the churches in the Benefice of Helmsley and Upper Ryedale. We are calling it the Saint Aelred’s Pilgrim Trail in honour of his tenure as Abbot of Rievaulx Abbey (1147 – 1167), his love of walking, history, friendship, and prolific writing.

This 41-mile-long trail accessible to walkers, cyclists and horse riders, will link the five historic rural churches of Upper Ryedale (in Bilsdale, Hawnby, Old Byland, Scawton and Cold Kirby)  with the handsome and historic Church of All Saints, Helmsley, and the 19th century Methodist Church, together with the historic hamlet churches of Saint Mary Magdalene, East Moors (a beautiful hidden church deep in the North York Moors), the (slipper chapel” of the Abbey), Church of Sanit Mary the Virgin, Rievaulx, the Methodist Chapel, Rievaulx, the stunning Rievaulx Abbey, and the restored Elizabethan building of the Church of Saint Chad, Sproxton. 

Our two local intrepid pathfinders, Joyce Garbutt and Mal Gyte have spent last autumn and winter walking and mapping the Trail in all weathers, including hail and snow falls.

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״Thus says the Lord:
Stand at the crossroads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way lies;
and walk in it, and find rest for your souls."

JEREMIAH 6:16

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