Beating the Bounds

Example beating the bounds walkBeating the Bounds

Beating the Bounds 2014 large

Happy Beaters picnicking before setting off!

Beating the Bounds is an ancient custom still observed in some places in England, where the whole village, possibly led by the priest or town leaders, walks the boundaries of the parish to remember where the boundaries are, and pray for protection and blessing on the land.  It normally happens on Ascension Day or during Rogation Week. In the past, boys would beat the parish boundary markers with birch or willow boughs: hence “beating the bounds”. Resurrecting this custom is an ideal opportunity for a prayer walk or even a one-off walking church!  One recent beating the bounds event saw a church, chapel and village walking group work together.

Feel free to adapt and use these resources to help you if you want to run your own event:

Beating the Bounds pack

Example Beating the Bounds map and leaflet

Example Children’s Activity Sheet for BtB

Example Beating the Bounds poster

Example Beating Bounds prayer guide

Example Risk assessment beating bounds

This document is an excellent guide to running a walking event, covering insurance, organisation and so on.

Easter sunrise services

Many Christians gather on local hills to celebrate Easter Sunday with an Easter sunrise service outdoors, to re-enact the event when the disciples met the risen Jesus early on Sunday morning after the resurrection.  Get out there, walk them hills, and meet Jesus!