Our Chalk River Pilgrimage walk and special service at All Saints Church attracted around 125-150 people on 11 September 2022.
The Bishop of Bedford, the Rt Revd Richard Atkinson, led the 1.5 mile pilgrimage from Ivel Springs in Baldock to Radwell. We stopped at five prayer stations along the riverbed and special prayers were said by the Bishop, Bill & Graham, a church teenager and a child who worships at Tea Time Praise.
After the walk, the Bishop preached at a packed special service at Radwell’s fourteenth century church.
The Pilgrimage was organised by All Saints Church and the RevIvel Association, the local group formed in 2019 to protect the River Ivel. Thank you also to those who helped with the logistics of the walk and provided refreshments. The community really pulled together to stage this event.
The River Ivel is only one of 250 rare chalk streams in the world. The pure waters of chalk streams are home to rare plants, fish and animals and are the equivalent of England’s Amazon rainforests or coral reefs in their rarity.
The Upper Ivel River – which once supported four mills, a trout fishery and a watercress industry – is bone dry in places. RevIvel believes the Ivel is dry due to over abstraction by Affinity Water. RevIvel has hired a consultant who has identified a simple solution: stop extracting water and pump water from a reservoir using a pipe which has recently been built.
Here’s a link a story in the Church Times about the event.