Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Bradwell pilgrims hear modern day parable

7th Sep 2013

Hundreds of Christians walked the annual Bradwell pilgrimage on Saturday, July 6 and heard a topical address given by the Bishop of Brentwood, Rt Revd Thomas McMahon. The leader was the Bishop of Bradwell, Rt Revd John Wraw, who welcomed the pilgrims from Essex and beyond.

The pilgrimage began at the church of St Thomas in the village of Bradwell after a short service, led by the Rayleigh Band of the Salvation Army. Then more than 800 pilgrims walked the two miles to the chapel. After lunchtime picnics, an outdoor service was held at which pilgrims completed a giant jigsaw puzzle based on their views of faith.

Bishop Thomas, in his homily, referred to the nearby power station in relation the beginnings of the Christian faith brought by St Cedd to the East Saxons in 654AD. The Christian faith had endured centuries whereas the power station had a limited life. 

Bishop Thomas said: “Bradwell is marked by its two buildings – the chapel and the power station.

“One building lasted only 40 years and the small chapel has been going for 1400 so far. This leads me to say that our confidence and our rock does not flow from our own achievement – no matter how impressive that might be.

“Rather it flows from the love of God which fills our heart. It comes from the small chapel and not from the power station.

“For centuries, the chapel has witnessed many different periods of history, and yet witnessing to the same truths and values. At some point in its history the chapel was larger and had a tower which became a beacon for shipping in the Blackwater Estuary.

“In our nuclear age and in our post- Christian society may the person of Christ and the enduring truths he came to bring continue to be a beacon for us – 'a light for our steps and a lamp for our path'.”

During the pilgrimage, there were activities for children at the nearby Othona community arranged by Tim Leeson, the youth minister at Chelmsford Cathedral.

Picture by Tony Allen - Bishop John leads the Bradwell Pilgrimage 2013.