More miles added to the Share the Journey campaign

On Saturday 16 June, a group of CAFOD supporters from St Teresa’s Parish in Princes Risborough completed a 5.5 miles walk through the gentle hills of the beautiful Chilterns countryside. The group were mostly parishioners from St Teresa’s.

Group setting off for the Share the Journey walk in solidarity with refugees and migrants

It was wonderful to have some of its younger members and Christians from other local churches invited through Churches Together.  They have clocked 77 miles into the totaliser.

Share the Journey

The route, chosen to maximise outreach, took the group through the centre of town, then out into the countryside and back into town again. The troop was spearheaded by the Lampedusa cross – a symbol of solidarity with refugees – and banners to enable pedestrian and motorists to note the aim of the walk  ie to “Share the Journey” in solidarity with those on the move.

During the walk, three reflections were read from the refugee petition cards. One was read by 14 year-old Benedict about a Syrian refugee. A second reflection was read by one of the parishioners from St Teresa’s about a refugee from Sudan, and the last one was read by a member of the Baptist Church about a refugee from Myanmar. The walk finished with a prayer for refugees, and a restorative feast of jam and custard doughnuts. chocolate biscuits, shortbread, and tea and coffee welcomed the group back at the church as a well deserved reward for safely completing the walk.

Share the Journey” is CAFOD’s campaign that responds to Pope Francis’ exortation to show solidarity with refugees and migrants.  As he writes in Laudato Si, “Every stranger who knocks at our door is an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age.”

If you want to learn more about Share the Journey or organise a walk in your parish or local area please get in touch with us or check out CAFOD’s Share the Journey Resources.

 

Central Beds Pilgrimage Stage 3 – Share the Journey

Inspired by Pope Francis’ special concern for people on the move, the pilgrimage across Central Beds. pastoral area continued on its third stage from Shefford to Flitwick. The aim?  Wanting 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.  10 people registered to do the 10mile Share the Journey walk adding another 100miles to the totaliser.

Alban explaining how Pope Francis open wide his arms to welcome refugees

Pilgrims reflect and pray for refugees and migrants

The pilgrims met at St Francis of Assisi in Shefford where refreshments were served by Jenny Hyde, the campaign volunteer.  Fr Benny (parish priest) was there to welcome all and stayed for the short opening prayer and reflection before seeing the pilgrims off on their way at 10am.  They carried the Lampedusa Cross on this journey, like they did with the others, as a very visible sign of solidarity with refugees.

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It was a lovely warm sunny day as the pilgrims headed south to Meppershall with its wonderful views, and then descended into the valley crossing a tributary of the River flit and passing through Upper Gravenhurst. They past the spectacular Wrest Park estate and went into Silsoe where they stopped for lunch at about 12:30am.  There were stops along the way for group reflection taken from the resources provide for Share the Journey.

Dee Viana who joined the group after lunch wrote :

Stopping for prayers and reflection in the Anglican church – Silsoe

Alban leading the Share the Journey reflection

“Before starting on the second part of the journey, the group stopped in the Anglican church in Silsoe and heard some more stories of refugees. It was so lovely and cool in the church and several of the walkers commented on those having to travel in harsh conditions without food and water.  Our organiser,  Alban Macdonald, informed us that every minute 20 people are forced to flee their homes leaving with only the clothes on their backs and the possessions they can carry.  It really made me think and realise how fortunate I aim and how things can change in an instant.  Only 8 years ago Syria was a modern peaceful country now it’s been torn apart and millions have fled.

Pilgrims – stage 3 of the Central Beds. walk – Share the Journey

We were lucky the weather was glorious. Our walk took us through Flitton a village I’d not visited before we saw how old Red phone boxes were being reused in the case of Flitton’s as a book library.  We crossed fields and walked by Flitwick Moor and woods where my shoes got a little wet walking across a water-logged field.

Joined by Rose – volunteer coordinator

I’m not an experienced walker but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the walk.  I didn’t know most of the walkers as they were from other parishes but we all chatted, and the two hours flew by.

We were joined by Rose (volunteer coordinator from Luton) for the last part of the walk. Rose was determine to do her part and add her miles to the walk.

Enjoying refreshments at Sacred Heart – Flitwick

 

We arrived at our destination Sacred Heart Church Flitwick where we were met with a warm welcome by some parishioners from Flitwick who had prepared lovely refreshments.  Most turned down the offer of a hot drink preferring the lovely ice-cold water after the long hot walk.  We finished the day with a reflection and deacon Philip led us in the closing prayer ”

Deacon Philip says the closing “Share the Journey” prayer

 

Thanks to St Francis of Assisi – Shefford and Sacred Heart Flitwick for your wonderful welcome, to Alban for organising the walk so well and to those who participated in it. Your actions are a wonderful sign of solidarity with our brothers and sisters on the move.

 

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

 

Campaign volunteer uses every opportunity to Share the Journey

War, persecution, natural disaster and poverty have forced millions from their homes.  Inspired by Pope Francis to respond with compassion and call on governments to protect the human dignity of people on the move, CAFOD is asking all to join in a walk around the world to urge world leaders to step up to protect rights of refugees and migrants as part of the Share the Journey campaign.

> Sign our petition

Marie Pennell (centre) and four others at the start of their 20mile Share the Journey walk

Marie Pennell, an amazing campaigns volunteer – St Teresa Princes Risborough, is always looking for opportunities to raise issues of injustice and poverty and was keen to be part of this campaign.  No only that, she did what she is great at doing – inviting others to join her.  Together with the parish CAFOD group, Marie organised a sponsored, Share the Journey walk and has another one planned in June.  Wanting to do more she decided to take part in the Thames Valley 20mile walk and do it as part of the Share the Journey campaign.

Her husband Allan and 3 friends joined her and they set off early on 5 May passing some lovely bluebell woods.  They prayed for refugees and migrants during their walk and 7 hrs later, they completed their 20mile walk thus adding 80miles to the totaliser.

Well done Marie and those who walked with you.  You are all a wonderful inspiration!

Can you organise a walk in your parish, school or group?  Please get in touch Northampton@cafod.org.uk