A FOLK singer is taking part in a special service on a Dartmoor tor.
Devon folk singer-songwriter Jim Causley is accompanying a pilgrimage evening service at St Michael’s Church on Brentor on Sunday (July 30) at 6pm.
The event celebrates the second anniversary of the launch of pilgrimage route the Archangel’s Way which runs from St Michael’s Brentor to St Michael the Archangel Chagford in 2021.
Jim Causley, from Dartmoor, was commissioned to write a song about the route which he sang at the launch.
The longer moorland route is 38 miles (the lowland route is 30 miles) from the 13th century St Michael de Rupe on Brentor and runs to St Michael the Archangel in Chagford. There are 12 places of worship along the route.
The Rev Hazel Butland, curate at Brentor, said: “This year Jim decided he wanted to try to sing his song The Archangel’s Way at each of the churches mentioned in the song, on the route. So, we invited him to be part of our service on Sunday. It should be a very special service. He will accompany the service of hymns, songs and prayers and will sing his composition.”
Jim said the service poses challenges: “There’s no mains electricity for my keyboard which makes life a bit difficult and very kindly, I’ve been offered help to carry all I need up the steep path to the church.
“I’m honoured to be asked to perform my song and to accompany the hymns at the special service. I was looking for some inspiration when writing my song and noticed the outline of the route was bow-shaped, like an arc, which helped me write the chorus.
“It’s proved a popular song and is now included in a collection of songs about Dartmoor which was commissioned by Dartmoor National Park Authority.
“I’m inspired in my work by the history and folklore of Dartmoor. It’s a picturesque route which can be enjoyed by anyone, whether they are religious or not. It’s a very uplifting walk.’
At the route’s launch bells from the churches rang out at the same time, to bring people together and mark the moment of significance. One of the aims of the route has been to stimulate and build friendships and invigorate community life in churches. Walkers of all motivations are encouraged to use the Archangel Way, which is not difficult — giving people the time to drink in the beauty of ‘God’s creation’.
Jim’s song begins with St Michael’s at Brentor and mentions St Thomas in Sourton. St Petrock’s in Lydford, St Mary’s in Belstone, Sticklepath, St Andrew’s in South Tawton; South Zeal, St Mary the Virgin at Throwleigh; Providence Chapel at Forder and Ronson; Holy Trinity near Gidleigh Mill and St Michael’s the Archangel at Chagford. It also references stone circles which have spiritual meaning. Details of the route: https://www.devonpilgrim.org.uk/route/archangels-way/