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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Share the Journey website.