Last week there was a Walk in Princes Risborough to raise money for CAFOD. Betty Cresswell, part of the CAFOD group attended the walk, which raised £1,498 and has written about her experiences:
Last week was windy, chilly and showery but on Sunday it all changed. The afternoon of St Teresa’s Parish, Princes Risborough, CAFOD Walk was bright and sunny. This was reflected on the faces of the 30 walkers who gathered for the start.
Before we set off on our 4 mile hike, the Club Room of the parish was laid with china and cutlery for an afternoon tea consisting of home-made scones and cakes. CAFOD Group members did a wonderful job of preparing it all to make all the walkers feel welcome and appreciated for their efforts towards CAFOD’s water and sanitation project in northern Uganda.
About 30 of us left the church car park and walked up the road and across a field towards the Lower Icknield Way. After crossing this muddy path we headed up our part of the Chilterns in glorious sunshine. So engrossed was everyone in talking to each other that very few noticed the climb but for those who did there were a few rustic benches to rest and get their breath back, their joints back in working order and time to admire the fantastic views. When we arrived at the top of Brush Hill there was a wonderful surprise – the wild bluebells were there in sheets, all opening in the Spring sunshine. With all this beauty around us, who could not but think “O God, how great thou art”?
We walked on, greeting families of walkers and other more serious hikers, before following our leader, Marie, down the side of the golf course and back along the lanes to Monks Risborough. There was one more treat in store as we crossed the main road and headed towards the Anglican parish church of St Dunstan, claimed to be the oldest parish in England, where our much-loved former parish priest, Monsignor Gerald Moorcroft (Father Gerald to his parishioners) is buried. We stood by his graveside and said a prayer for him.
Tea was now calling to everyone so we set off on the last leg, down the road, across the playing field and back to the church Club Room. Muddy boots were discarded, tea and coffee made, the dogs watered before everyone took their seats and had their afternoon tea. Finally we all took part in the CAFOD quiz on Uganda which Marie, our parish contact organised. Most of us went home knowing a little more about Uganda and the needs of its people for clean water and sanitation.
All in all this was a good afternoon. Not only did we raise an amazing £1,498 for CAFOD but we also got to build community spirit as we meet parishioners to whom we may not have spoken more than ‘hello’ before that afternoon. With our three Masses at weekends we don’t necessarily see everyone very often. What a wonderful way to make new friends in this Year of Mercy.