Central Beds Pilgrimage Stage 4 – Share the Journey

Sixteen people registered for the 12mile stage 4 walk across Central Beds. This time the walk was from Sacred Heart Flitwick to Sacred Heart Leighton Buzzard as part of the Share the Journey walk.  Together they have added about 200 miles to the totaliser.

Getting ready to start on their 11mile walk as part of Share the Journey – Stage 4

Why were they walking? They wanted to show world leaders that they too need to step up and agree ambitious new UN agreements on refugees and migration in September and beyond.

>> Sign our petition here

One of the walkers was Debbie Purfield (CAFOD coordinator) who was also on the stage 3 walk. She writes :

Starting the day with prayers and reflections for refugees

We started the day with prayer and reflection before setting off at about 9:20am. We walked with the Lampedusa cross (again) as a wonderful sign of solidarity with refugees.

>> Click here for all the resources for Share the Journey.

Having done the stage 3 walk which was a glorious sunny day and where I got so hot and in need of much hydration, I decided to wear less layers this time and carry more water. But wasn’t I in for a shock!

We passed through Flitwick Manor Park; a delightful little park with a lake and woods, and from there headed towards Manor Park House. From there we went through the woods and on to Harlington Wood End, past various farms on the way through fields of barley and yellow rapeseed before stopping for lunch at 1pm.

As it had been raining a lot, the fields were all muddy and there was no escaping from its clutches. This slowed us down and made walking so much more difficult with the added weight of the mud on our shoes.

Soaking, muddy shoes and not even half way through the walk

My shoes were soaked through and bubbles managed to find their way through various holes in them. After a while I could no longer feel my feet!  Not having a water proof jacket (how silly is that!) and walking through the fields where the rapeseed was up to our waist, my body was damp and the contents of my pockets soaking.

We were told off by some farmers for trespassing on their land (nearly had the dogs on us!) despite it being signposted as public way.  We had to climb over several styles some of which were so rickety and dangerous and with muddy shoes they were very slippery.  One of our group slipped and fell.  Thank God she was unhurt!  My fellow pilgrims were marvellous in their support and humour throughout the journey which sustained me.

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Throughout all this, I couldn’t help reflect on the plight of refugees who have to face what we were going through but on a significantly larger and more horrendous scale. They get abuse, they have dangerous crossings, they are cold, wet and hungry and that is just the physical.  What emotional and mental burdens they carry is unthinkable!  We stopped to pray for our brothers and sisters on the move.

Stopping for reflection – Share the journey

After lunch (which we were so grateful for) we continued the rest of the route (last 4 miles), passing through Eggington and into Leighton Buzzard where we had a warm welcome and refreshments from Anne and Katy, parishioners of the Sacred Heart parish.

This walk was so much more difficult than stage 3 but it really brought home a loud message and made standing in solidarity with my brothers and sisters on the move more meaningful. I feel even more energised to invite others as well to call upon our world leaders to act to uphold the rights of refugees and migrants.”

In solidarity with refugees and migrants


Thank you Sacred Heart, Leighton Buzzard for your welcome and refreshments to the pilgrims.  To all those who participated on the walk, you are such an inspiration and well done to you!  A special thanks to organiser Alban Macdonald for his excellent and detail planning of the pilgrimage.

Your actions will show world leaders that they too need to step up now and agree ambitious new UN agreements on refugees and migration.



>> If you can organise a Share the Journey walk please get in touch northampton@cafod.org.uk or visit the Share the Journey website.


Youth fundraising makes double the impact

As part of their school’s community challenge project, students Maria, Elvina and Sona decided to raise funds for CAFOD.  It was great timing as they managed to have their donations doubled by the UK government.  Thus having their donations making double the impact!

How did they raise funds?  By selling cakes in St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Kettering.  They sold the cakes on three consecutive Sundays after Easter and raised an amazing £160 from it!  They handed the cheque over to Fr Paul Gonsalves. 

Handing over the cheque for £160 to Fr Paul Gonsalves

Maria’s dad Zachariah very proudly said, “They put in a lot of effort and did really well.  They also enjoyed the experience.”

Big thanks to Maria, Elvina and Sona for enabling twice as many lives to be transformed.  Thanks also to your parents, friends and parishioners at St Edward’s who supported you.  You are an inspiration!

>> Click here to see more fun fundraising ideas


Jazz and Swing evening fundraiser in Northampton

We are delighted to feedback on the success of event that the parish of SS Francis and Therese – Northampton put on.  They were privileged to have the acclaimed Tad Newton’s Jazz Friends band for  an evening of Jazz and Swing to raise funds for two charities with CAFOD being one of them.

Parish volunteer Mark Osborne said, “The attendance was good and we are thrilled to have the amount matched by the UK government”.

The parish raised nearly £890 for CAFOD which would be £1780 after being doubled by the UK government.  Fabulous!  This means twice the number of lives can be transformed. Twice the number of children can have the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong.

Well done SS Francis and Therese for organising the evening and thanks to the band and all who supported the event.

It is not too late to donate to our Lenten appeal and have your donations matched by the UK government.  This period is until 12 May 2018.  Donate now by visiting our website.