Belfast Telegraph

Derry bishops build bridges on symbolic pilgrimage

By Donna Deeney

The two Bishops of Derry have witnessed the remnants of the destruction caused by recent floods as they embarked on the latest leg of their walk across the diocese.

In a powerful show of solidarity, Church of Ireland Bishop Ken Good and Catholic Bishop Donal McKeown paid a visit to a flood-damaged bridge in the diocese that Bishop McKeown said was symbolic of their determination to build bridges in the community.

It comes as people from both faiths prepare to gather at Christ Church in Londonderry tomorrow for Sunday service in an act of defiance against a despicable act of vandalism at the church.

Bishop Good said he had been overwhelmed by the messages of support and sympathy he had received from across the community following the desecration.

Archdeacon of Christ Church the Rev Robert Millar echoed Bishop Good's sentiments, adding he had been inundated with offers of help and support from the Catholic faithful since the damage was discovered on Tuesday.

The two bishops are expected to join the congregation at Christ Church having completed this latest leg of their year-long pilgrimage marking the shared Christian witness and heritage.

This week they covered the 15 miles between Claudy and Strabane where they began with prayers in St Patrick's Catholic Church in Claudy and then at Cumber Upper Church of Ireland, which has a stained glass window commemorating young Claudy bomb victim, Kathryn Eakin.

The bishops will continue on their joint pilgrimage today when they walk from Limavady to Garvagh.

Ahead of their departure, the pair said: "We are eager to heighten the profile of faith traditions in our dioceses and hope our shared witness to the Gospel will encourage reconciliation in our community.

"We want to raise awareness of the long ecclesiastical history of our community, its shared Columban narrative and rich Christian heritage."

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