Holy Week 2023 pilgrimage: a photo essay
Dates & Seasons
Check out Bishop John Roundhill’s Holy Week photo essay, which shows many of the people he walked, prayed and ate with during his week-long pilgrimage
Upon completing my third Holy Week pilgrimage walk between the Gold Coast, Logan and Brisbane’s south recently, anglican focus asked me to submit a photo essay of my pilgrimage highlights. Thank you to all those who supported the pilgrimage, including the good folk who walked with me, prayed with me, acknowledged Country at each church stop, welcomed us with hospitality and gave me a place to sleep.
Palm Sunday, 2 April 2023
My first day involved 17km of walking at God’s pace through Gold Coast streets and parks, and along beaches. We started at Robina Anglican Church, stopped for refreshments and conversation at Surfers Paradise Anglican Church, and ended the day at St Peter’s, Southport.
I start my Holy Week walk at Robina Anglican Church on the Gold Coast. In the above photo I am acknowledging Country, just before a group of us set off. I am somewhat anxious about the pilgrimage at this point. It is natural to worry about the weather. I am also somewhat worried about whether my feet and legs will hold up. I am glad for the stick!
I am delighted to meet with Surfers Paradise Anglican Church friends and enjoy afternoon tea after a surprisingly warm walk. This is the first time that Jim and Leanne are welcoming me on pilgrimage. I am wearing super-cushioned Nike shoes that are very kind to my arthritic knees. Following a chat and afternoon tea, we head off to St Peter’s, Southport.
Special thanks to St Peter’s, Southport parishioner Jason Zagami who billets me on Palm Sunday night. As the week unfolds, I meet many wonderful Anglicans who welcome me into their homes and hearts, offering me a place to sleep and nourish me with healthy food and great conversation.
Monday of Holy Week, 3 April 2023
On Monday morning I leave St Peter’s, Southport and commence my day’s 18km walk. As I walk north, along the Gold Coast Broadwater, with beautiful views of the beach and the ocean, I am joined by piper Barry Cathcart. Walking the last few hundred metres of this leg listening to Barry pipe is a marvelous way to arrive at St James’, Biggera Waters.
Thanks to all St James’, Biggera Waters community members who greeted me with some welcome refreshments. I am about to walk a good distance to Holy Rood, Oxenford, which is also in the parish of Gold Coast North Anglican Church. This is one of the larger parishes in our Diocese, with three vibrant centres. By the way, the parish is looking for a new priest, so do email me if you are keen to enquire about this role!
I am on my own for the next leg, walking between Biggera Waters and Oxenford. Here I am passing right by a Warner Bros. Movie World rollercoaster, watching happy screaming people enjoy the ride. I love rollercoasters, so I get a kick out of being so close to this one.
Tuesday of Holy Week, 4 April 2023
Today I need to walk 16km from Holy Rood, Oxenford to St George’s, Tamborine Mountain, including along busy roads and then up steep and winding bush paths. I walk on my own for the whole day, which gives me time for prayer and quiet reflection.
On the lovely bush walk up to Tamborine Mountain, I stop to enjoy this glorious view of the Gold Coast, before arriving at St George’s, Tamborine Mountain.
Upon arriving at St George’s, Tamborine Mountain, I share a healthy salad roll lunch with Helen, who shows me a bower bird nest (with its bright blue treasures) and a gorgeous kookaburra. We chat about the local community and ministry. I express appreciation to Helen for her faithfulness as she serves in her current locum role.
Wednesday of Holy Week, 5 April 2023
After a brief downhill trip on a quad bike (on paths that are too unsafe to walk) from St George’s, Tamborine Mountain with The Rev’d Helen Paget, I arrive at St John the Evangelist, Mundoolun, and finish my 20km day’s walk at St James’, Jimboomba.
At St John’s, Mundoolun, I arrive with parishioner Koda Whitney who generously walks all the way with me. We are both weary from walking in the heat. The Rev’d Dan Talbot then joins us at St James’, Jimboomba.
A wonderful highlight of the week is being greeted at St James’s, Jimboomba by so many community members. This is another very warm afternoon and the final 10km is quite demanding. It is just wonderful to be able to sit down at this point and take a load off.
Maundy Thursday, 6 April 2023
The Rev’d Dan Talbot joins me as I leave St James’, Jimboomba. Here we are near Jimboomba’s outskirts. This is another parish that will soon need a new priest as Dan moves to Canterbury College to be the school’s new chaplain. I walk 18km today, starting in Jimboomba and ending up at Good Shepherd Anglican Church, Park Ridge.
I am so immersed in walking and talking today that I forget to take more photos.
Good Friday, 7 April 2023
Following a Good Friday morning service at Good Shepherd, Park Ridge, I embark on a 15km walk between Park Ridge, Algester and Sunnybank. Thunderstorms are forecast, but fortunately they don’t appear. We enjoy some refreshing light rain.
My wife Frances and our puppy, The Rev’d Peter Moore, The Rev’d Chris Bate and The Rev’d Julianna Bate and other community members walk with me to Sunnybank after refreshments and a tour of the Algester church. One of the inspiring conversations I had was with The Rev’d Chris Bate who had just been leading a service in a packed church.
Here I am enjoying lunch at Sunnybank with fellow pilgrims who walked with me from Park Ridge and Algester, as well as friendly folk who came to the church to welcome us. Priests Chris Bate and Julianna Bate and their children Connor and Victoria, priests Simon Tang and Scott Windred and several parishioners enjoy the hearty BBQ lunch and ice-cold ginger beer. As we eat, we chat about family, ministry, prayer, school and health.
Holy Saturday, 8 April 2023
Before we embark on our 18km Holy Saturday walk, we pray Morning Prayer together in St Barnabas’, Sunnybank. This is the first time I have prayed Morning Prayer on Holy Saturday with a group. It is a beautiful and powerful way to start this extraordinary day. Today I am joined by many pilgrims from across our community, as we stop at St Bart’s, Mount Gravatt, St Matthew’s, Holland Park and St Stephen’s, Coorparoo. The Holy Week pilgrimage then finishes at St Gabriel’s, Carindale. At each church we are greeted with warm smiles, cold water, food to fuel us and inspiring conversation.
Here we are about to set off at St Bart’s, Mount Gravatt. Pictured are The Rev’d Michael Stalley (and his dog, Teddy) and The Rev’d Scott Windred, along with walkers and supporters from a number of Southern Region parishes. I am very happy to have company on today’s walk and I am grateful to be joined by clergy given how busy Holy Saturday can be for them.
On Holy Saturday, fellow pilgrims range in age from 4 to 84. Here we are walking from Mt Gravatt to Holland Park with Glindemann Park on our right and Logan Road on our left. I am impressed by the stamina of the two young siblings and an 84-year-old seasoned pilgrim who walked the Camino from France to Spain in his 70s. This fit octogenarian, who walks the entire day, shares about the special friendships he made during his month-long Camino journey pilgrimage, including the people he remains in active contact with.
We are joined by more pilgrims at St Matthew’s, Holland Park, where we receive more refreshments while parishioners start transforming the church’s interior for Easter Day. It is moving to walk from church to church on Holy Saturday to see this transformation.
Holy Saturday is a hot day, so the refreshments, air-conditioning, comfy seats and friendly faces at St Stephen’s, Coorparoo are much appreciated by all. A BBQ lunch is provided by the hospitable community, including new clergy The Rev’d Kesh and The Rev’d Catherine Govan.
In this photo, I have just thanked the good Coorparoo folk and we are about to set off on the final leg to Carindale. Poppy, our spoodle puppy, walks this section with us. She entertains pilgrims along the way by noisily whimpering when I get too far ahead of her, especially when pushed in her puppy pram.
This house is being built by an aptly named contractor, as shown by the sign, which catches the eye of walkers, so we decide to pose for a photo.
The Rev’d Nicole Anderson and the St Gabriel’s, Carindale community welcome tired pilgrims with afternoon tea under the trees in St Gabriel’s, Carindale beautiful garden. The end of the week-long pilgrimage is fittingly marked by Evening Prayer ahead of the Easter Day vigil starting. Nicole Anderson sensitively shortens the Evening Prayer service knowing that I am exhausted. It is the perfect way to end the Holy Week pilgrimage.Jump to next article