Tyne & Wear

Groups gather for Good Friday Holy Island pilgrimage

Hole Island pilgrimage Image copyright PA
Image caption Groups from all over Britain take part in the annual event

Dozens of people from across the UK have completed an annual pilgrimage to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.

Some groups walked more than 100 miles (170km) to reach the island off the Northumberland coast.

Each group carried a large wooden cross to the island, which was once home to St Cuthbert and where the world famous Lindisfarne Gospels were created.

Once on the island the wooden crosses are decorated as part of traditional Easter celebrations.

The Northern Cross pilgrimage started 40 years ago with a group walking from Penrith in Cumbria.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Holy Island pilgrimage has been taking place for 40 years

Co-ordinator Ellie Feline said: "It might often be thought pilgrimage is a historic activity, yet Christian pilgrimage is very much alive, demonstrated yearly by the five million people who go to Lourdes, or the 200,000 who walk the Camino di Santiago.

"Northern Cross is another example of this. A combination of walking holiday and retreat - on pilgrimage we are removed from many trappings of modern living, and just require whatever can be carried in a small bag.

"It's a chance to mirror life, to step back and look to see what is really important."

A monastery was founded on Lindisfarne in 635 by King Oswald but was attacked in 793 by the Vikings in their first major raid on the British Isles.

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