A Pilgrims’ Progress

Jim with Bruce and Maggie Nichols and Kay Burton at Whilton Locks

Jim Quinn, a long time CAFOD Campaigner, has traversed the border from Birmingham into Northampton Diocese as he travels the length of the Grand Union Canal from its home in Birmingham to the centre of London. Jim is not following the route as a trader, nor indeed as a holiday maker, but as a pilgrim walking by the water in solidarity with all those for whom clean water and safe sanitation are but a dream.

Arriving in Northampton Diocese on Tuesday, 1 May, he was greeted at Wilton Locks by members of the Daventry parish of  Our Lady and St Augustine’s . Hosts Tony and Kay Burton immediately took him to their home where he was able to freshen up and have something to eat before visiting the parish and meeting members of the Justice and Peace group. He was also invited in to join some of the Confirmation candidates, who were delighted to hear why he was taking the Pilgrim’s route.

On Wednesday, Tony and Kay were off to catch a plane to Ireland, so Jim was back on the canal side by 7.30am where he took up his pack and walking stick and headed to Stoke Bruerne. He arrived a little early here and was happy to slack his thirst in the traditional way of all walkers, with a generous pint of ale at the Navigation.

Diocesan Manager Frank Sudlow then collected him and brought him home for a relaxing evening and early to bed. Now getting accustomed to the early Northamptonshire mornings, Jim was again canal side by 8.30am on his way to Milton Keynes. Though he leaves Northamptonshire, he remains in the diocese but moves out into Milton Keynes before walking on to Bedfordshire.

On Saturday he will arrive in the parish of St Thomas Aquinas and All Saints, Bletchley . Hosted by parish contact Maggie Osgathorp and her husband John, Jim will spend all of Sunday in the parish, taking the opportunity to speak with parishioners who have been strong supporters of CAFOD’s Thirst for Change campaign.

Then, with a stop-over in Leighton Buzzard   staying with campaigners Nicki and Tessa Wiseman on the Monday, Jim continues his pilgrimage through to Dunstable where he will again be meeting a group of Confirmation candidates, this time at St Mary’s, before departing the diocese as he moves into Westminster at Tring.

Click here to follow Jim’s Blog and to join the campaign.

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