Over 4 days in September, 63 people joined the High Sheriff in walking the Peak Pilgrimage, 39 miles from Ilam to Eyam (the Plague Village) through the magnificent Derbyshire and East Staffordshire scenery.

The walk, with some challenging ascents and descents, stopped at 12 churches and chapels on the way ending with a moving service at Eyam. Recalling the courage of the villagers of Eyam, who isolated themselves to stop the spread of the plague in 1665/66, one-third of them losing their lives, was so poignant in this time of Covid restrictions.

From Ilam the route passed through Milldale, Alstonefield, Hartington, Parsley Hay, Monyash, Lathkill Dale, Baslow, Edensor, over Baslow, Curbar and Froggat Edges, Grindleford and Stoney Middleton before ending up at Eyam.

On different days, the walkers included the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, the Recorder of Derby, the High Sheriffs of Staffordshire and Rutland, former Derbyshire High Sheriffs, the Leader of Derbyshire County Council, the Bishop of Derby, the High Sheriff’s Chaplain, young people from ACE Youth Trust, Scouts and many friends, family and colleagues.

Walking in socially distanced groups of 6, talking and sharing experiences on the way,  it was a physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually refreshing experience.

The walk raised over £8,600 for ACE Youth Trust, who do such fantastic work among disadvantaged and hard to reach youngsters in the Ashbourne area.

Many thanks to the organising team of Andrew Flack, Ken Sharples, Louise Doble, Helen Walker and Rev Tim Morris, to all who took part and to all who sponsored so generously.

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