There is no better time for the outdoors than the summer months, and joining a good cause can certainly increase the enjoyment. At least, this is what seems to have spurred 30 parishioners form Sacred Heart in Flitwick and Leighton Buzzard to pop on the walking shoes on Saturday 21 July. Such was their enthusiasm that we’ve asked them to tell the experience in their own words. This is what they told us:
Leg 1 – Flitwick to Eversholt (Jim Aylward)
We brought together the two parishes served by Fr John Danford for this walk. It was a glorious day and we started with a reading and blessing from Deacon Philip.
The walk really had two purposes. First, to add miles to CAFOD’s totaliser and the Share the Journey campaign. Secondly, to raise money for the Just one House scheme operated by Refugees Welcome Milton Keynes.
Fr John and Anne-Marie walked the whole distance from Flitwick to Leighton Buzzard, and the 30 parishioners (of all ages!), including our official photographer Theresa, walked as far as Eversholt. Half of the group then walked back to Flitwick.
Our first short stop was at a beautiful shaded area where a wooden footbridge crosses the river Flit. There we had a reading of the testimony of Khodesa, one of the refugees featured in the CAFOD leaflet, and reflected on the contrast between her life and ours.
We walked on through fields of wheat ready to harvest, crossed the M1 (on a footbridge!) and reached Tingrith, where we had another short stop. We had a reading of the inspiring poem by Brian Bilston, which has a completely different meaning when the lines are read in reverse order.
We reached Eversholt just 15 minutes late, which was no small achievement, considering the hot temperature that day. There, the two groups from Flitwick and Eversholt met up, and Mary Flach led a service in the shade of the churchyard. We had readings of the testimony of Khodesa, Nazir, David, Manuel, and Mohammed, the five refugees featured in the CAFOD leaflets. We had a period of quiet and reflection, following which Peter reminded us that many of those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire just over a year ago were migrants and refugees. Fr John offered prayers for them, and for the refugee family we will help to house and support in Milton Keynes.
We had our picnic lunch at the cricket ground (or fine meal in the Green Man!). Fr John and Anne-Marie then set off for Leighton Buzzard with their group, while we bade them farewell and set off on our return to sunny Flitwick.
It was a joyous occasion, and we felt uplifted that we had contributed in some way to the CAFOD campaign to urge world leaders to ensure greater compassion and fairer treatment for migrants and refugees, and we made an encouraging star to our project to raise funds for Just one House.