Cross-community border trek pilgrims to arrive in Derry today

Previous participants arriving in Derry following the epic border walk from Rosstrevor.
Previous participants arriving in Derry following the epic border walk from Rosstrevor.

Local people are being invited to join a cross-community group of young pilgrims this evening at a public event in Guildhall Square as they reach the finish line in their 200 mile trek along the border.

RTE will be in the city centre this evening to film the special occasion for a new TV series called ‘Life and Soul’.

Previous participants arriving in Derry following the epic border walk from Rosstrevor.

Previous participants arriving in Derry following the epic border walk from Rosstrevor.

More than 30 walkers from the ‘Youth With A Mission’ (YWAM) Ireland, based in Rostrevor, are expected to arrive at around 4.30pm where they will be greeted by local groups.

An event will be held this evening in front of the Guildhall from 7pm with community leaders and Mayor Michaela Boyle in attendance. Music will be played at the event and prayers said in light of the current political situation.

YWAM Ireland has organised this pilgrimage of prayer and reconciliation, for the last seven years.

The walk zigzags across the Irish border from Rostrevor to Derry.

Since 2013, participants have walked along a route connecting border communities and daily host evening events of community building and prayer.

Amid unprecedented anxiety over Brexit and the Irish border, as well as the tragic shooting of Lyra McKee, people on all sides of the political divide are welcome to participate in this contemporary pilgrimage. The experience of BorderWalk also allows participants to connect in a real way to the people and places surrounding current issues.

As a participant reflects from a previous year: “It’s one thing to read about the issues of Brexit and the Irish Border and the legacy of the Troubles, but to actually walk along this land and to connect with its’ communities and people has allowed me to both better understand the situation and also to care more deeply about the people on both sides who continue to heal from the past and face current uncertainty.

“They aren’t just names in a book or an article anymore - I’ve been there, I’ve met them.”

Countless people from both Protestant and Catholic churches have supported BorderWalk since it started in 2013.

YWAM Ireland Director Jonny Clark said: “The legacy of the Troubles lingers and this walk is an opportunity to witness to what it can look like when people from different sides of our community and different nations walk with one another and share life together.”

To take part in future BorderWalk events, participants need to submit an application, email borderwalk.ywamrostrevor@gmail.com. Additional info can also be found on the Facebook page: ‘BorderWalkYWAMireland’