On Sunday 24 June the last day of “Refugee Week” a group of eight adults and four children – all under 11 – went on a 4 mile circular walk to add their contribution to the Share the Journey campaign.
Starting from St Gilbert’s Church, in Eton Wick, the walk took them through some breathtaking views, all with a leisurely pace. The weather was warm and dry, and the landscape seemed more verdant and bright than ever. They even saw two dragon flies courting in mid air – a remarkable sight!
They walked past Windsor Race Course on the opposite bank of the River Thames, Windsor Castle on the way from Eton Great Common to the Thames Path, and the Swan Life Line building, a sanctuary for injured swans. The Thames Path was busy with dog walkers and cyclists, giving the group the opportunity to give witness of their commitment to refugees rights. Visibility on the day was excellent, an added gift to photographers and artists. After a banana break at Boveney Lock, they walked along Conker Avenue, lined with horse chestnut trees and glimpsed a 13th century tiny Chapel, dedicated to St Mary Magdalene and set up for the Bargees, i.e. Barge workers on the Thames.
The walk included stops at various points to meditate on the stories of the refugees, read from the CAFOD Campaign cards, and the children were fully involved throughout.
As most of our readers will know, Share the Journey is the global campaign inspired by Pope Francis to ‘welcome, protect, promote and integrate’ migrants and refugees. CAFOD has been instrumental in implementing this campaign in the UK by inviting Catholics to walk as a symbol of solidarity with refugees and migrants. These walks aim to send a signal to our leaders of the strong grassroot support for those in the move. It is also an exhortation to show leadership and act with courage and compassion, protecting migrants rights and putting their dignity at the heart of two global agreements on refugees and migration in September and beyond.
The final prayer was said at St Gilbert’ Church The walk added an extra 50 miles to the totaliser, which includes the energetic contribution of the children. Not only a great result but they seem to have thoroughly enjoyed themselves in the process!
Thank you to all who organised the walk and those who participated in the event. Delighted that the children were able to participate fully too.
>> If you could organise a walk in your area, please get in touch : Northampton@cafod.org.uk