199 Steps

To access St Mary’s Church in Whitby, one must ascend 199 steps. Reverend Mr Wesley counted only 191 in 1761 and others today count only 198 as the ‘top’ is not a step. Either way, it is a steep climb. For the modern tourist and the ancient pilgrim, the views and church make it worthwhile. At the top, various people were wheezing, puffing, panting, their eyes bulging. Anyone who attends St Mary’s regularly will not only demonstrate their commitment to their faith and church, but will also be the fitter for having ascended that hill so many times.

Marvel not at the hills you must climb and obstacles you must pass. Travelling such a path proves your faith and strengthens your sinews. The road to hell is wide and commodious; beware its gentle descent.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2