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Sudbury clergyman preparing for 20-mile fundraising pilgrimage in aid of Kernos Centre counselling charity





A Sudbury clergyman is embarking on a pilgrimage to a centuries-old site to raise vital funds for a counselling support charity.

The Rev Tom Mumford will set off from St Gregory’s Church on a 20-mile walk to St Edmundsbury Cathedral and its Abbey ruins in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday, August 22.

All donations from the fundraising event will go to the Kernos Centre in Sudbury, which hosts weekly counselling sessions at its base in Friars Street.

Tom Mumford has been appointed a reverend at St Gregory's Church in Sudbury..He will be assisting the Rev Canon Cheryl Collins in his new role...PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (39375420)
Tom Mumford has been appointed a reverend at St Gregory's Church in Sudbury..He will be assisting the Rev Canon Cheryl Collins in his new role...PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (39375420)

Highlighting the impact of the coronavirus crisis on people’s mental health, Mr Mumford said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened anxiety in our nation like nothing I have seen in my lifetime.

“Isolation has intensified loneliness, lockdown has caused both mental and financial depression.

“Our lives have been changed entirely, almost overnight. We have all had our dark days and weeks, how could we not?”

Reflecting on the challenges posed by the pandemic, the 29-year-old said: “Though many of us choose not to talk about it, I know from my own experience, and from speaking to parishioners during lockdown, that things have been really up and down.

“Some weeks have been good, such as enjoying the sun and the lack of evening meetings.

“But some weeks have been tough, feeling as if there’s no end in sight, missing out on big occasions – the black dog has been well and truly present.”

Expressing his excitement at taking part in the upcoming event, Mr Mumford said: “I love journeys; they’re something I missed massively during lockdown, not least because a week before I broke my foot, meaning even a daily walk was impossible.

“I love journeys, not so much for the destination, but because of what you learn on the way – what it allows you to notice, to see from a different perspective.

“One of the reasons for this, I believe, is that God, as the wellspring of life, is in all things, and that every thing is in some way of him.

“This makes every journey, every stepping out from our homes, an adventure of God, an opportunity to learn more of him and, in turn, to learn more of ourselves.”