Everyone is invited to join us on a pilgrimage across Central Bedfordshire to celebrate our climate and our world and consider the injustice of climate change. The first of the 5 stage walk took place on the 11 April 2015 and was an 8 mile walk from Toddington to Dunstable.
We had a warm welcome from the parishioners at Toddington who nourished us physically with coffee/tea and biscuits and Fr Padraig (76yr old Vincentian from the parish who joined us on the walk) who nourished us spiritually with prayer and a blessing.
The weather was perfect for walking. We did have a bit of rain as we set off but that soon cleared and we ambled in beautiful sunshine. There were a few events along the way which gave us a good laugh. There were a couple of very muddy areas as we walked in the countryside and we all felt for Marie whose shoes got stuck in the mud. Her next steps therefore saw her plodding into the mud with her socks!Squelch! Marie’s dog, James, came along for the walk too and even though she didn’t like being parted from Marie, she was not prepared to jump over one of the stiles so had to be carried over.
We past a house were a huge pig came running to greet us! James seemed interested in the pig… maybe she thought it was a fellow dog ? Oh the wonders of creation!
We had another very warm welcome at Houghton Regis (mid way stop) and were treated to hot scones, cake, biscuits and coffee/tea. We then had another reflection from Fr Padraig which gave us food for thought for the next section of the pilgrimage.
We arrived in Dunstable early afternoon where we were treated to a whistle stop tour of the priory (where Henry VIII received his annulment from the Bishop) by Hugh who does official tours. It was so interesting!
Reaching our destination at St Mary’s Dunstable was a wonderful feeling. We were delighted to sit down and be waited on. Parishioners provided us with delicious home made soup and the day concluded with a prayer session focusing on creation and how we can all play a part in looking after this beautiful planet God has given us especially having experienced it that morning. We all committed to do at least one positive action to reduce our carbon footprint. This was noted on a large heart display.
Debbie Purfield (CAFOD diocesan manager – Northampton) said, “We were all energised by the day and several people said that they will now consider doing the other stages as it was such an enjoyable and prayerful experience. It was also great meeting people from other parishes. It is really wonderful to see volunteers leading events!”
If you would like more details about the Easter pilgrimage and to join in any of the stages, please register. Sponsorship forms can be found here. You can also sponsor our walkers online. All donations will be matched by the UK government up to £5m.