We continue to “Share the Journey”, now from Flitwick to Leighton Buzzard

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.

Opening prayer reflections by Deacon Philip – Share the Journey walk

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.

Group from Filitwick on Share the Journey walk

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.

Stage 1 of Share the Journey walk from Flitwick

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.

Ready for next part of the Share the Journey walk

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.

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Holy Family in Langley joins “Share the Journey”

A stroll through the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon is probably one of the most emblematic images of the British summer.  And sunny afternoons have been in abundance! So, walking shoes on and off our walkers go! An almost two miles walk (3km) through Black Park in Slough brought together ten parishioners from Holy Family (nine adults and a child), joining CAFOD’s Share the Journey campaign and clocking another 19 miles to the totaliser.

Cafod Walk- Photo 2[27862]

The walk had been enthusiastically supported by Fr Kevin, the parish priest, who at various masses explained that Share the Journey is a global global campaign to raise the profile of migrants and refugees and to lobby world leaders to take decisive steps to respect and protect their lives and human dignity.  Fr Kevin encouraged parishioners to take part in the Walk to support refugees and migrants who suffer worldwide.  Parishioner Georgina and CAFOD parish volunteer Rose also gave short talks at all the masses.  Details of the walk were advertised in the parish bulletin for three consecutive weeks.

>>  Sign our petition to the PM here.

StJ icon

The group used the CAFOD Share the Journey resources during the walk. They started with CAFOD’s opening prayer.  During the walk, they learnt about the often tragic stories of danger, separation and uncertainty that characterise refugees journeys into Europe. They read about the perilous and difficult journey of an Eritrean couple, the ordeal of family separation of a Sri Lankan refugee and the trauma of  a young Afghan man seeking asylum in the UK as an unaccompanied minor. The walk concluded with the end of walk prayer and a greater sense of solidarity with the plea of migrants and refugees by all who took part in this very special Sunday afternoon walk.

Barefoot children.

>>  Learn more about Share the Journey here.

>> To organise your own walk click here

 

St Augustine’s MK sends a strong message to world leaders to step up

War, persecution, climate change and poverty force people from their homes, every minute 20 people around the world are newly displaced, more people are on the move than ever before.

Share the Journey walk – leaving St Augustine’s Milton Keynes

On Saturday 23 June, 45 people took part in a Share the Journey walk from St Augustine’s Church to Christ the Cornerstone in Milton Keynes.  It was organised by members of the fledgling CAFOD group at St Augustine led by Oby – the main campaigns volunteer.  The turnout was just amazing!!!

Building community spirit on the Share the Journey walk

Setting off on the walk of solidarity

Siobhan, one of our Gap year students from Milton Keynes who was on the walk writes:

“Share the Journey is a global campaign inspired by Pope Francis who urges all of us to ‘welcome, protect, promote and integrate’ migrants and refugees . CAFOD has been asking parishes and schools to walk in solidarity with refugees and migrants. By walking we are sending a powerful message to world leaders that they too need to step up and protect the rights of people on the move. They need to act with courage and compassion, putting human dignity at the heart of two global agreements on refugees and migration in September and beyond.

>> sign our petition here

Stopping to pray and reflect on the plight of refugees

As a group we walked 63 miles in total, 1.4 miles each! As we walked we carried the Lampedusa cross with us, a wonderful symbol of solidarity.  The cross was crafted from the wreckage of migrants boats which got washed up onto the shores of Lampedusa.  It is a reminder of the risk migrants take and that many do not make it to their destination.  We stopped for times of reflection and to listen to the stories of refugees and asylum seekers.

>> click here to read their stories and watch their videos below.

Sharing stories about refugees

It was great to be able to chat with other parishioners and get to know people a bit more – and build community spirit. Our walk was easy and the sun was shining on us which was lovely. We contrasted it to the difficult journeys many refugees around the world have to make.  We finished the walk with refreshments at Christ the Cornerstone which was a real treat.

We have already walked the circumference of the world, 24,900 miles, but we can’t stop here. Let’s make it round again! ”

>> check out how far we have already walked here.

Oby, our campaigns volunteer said, “the turn out was great and I really enjoyed organising this campaign and being part of it.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was so simple to organise too.  I would encourage other parishes to give it a go!”

Arrival at Christ the Cornerstone – 63miles added to the Share the Journey walk totaliser.

A big thank you to the CAFOD group at St Augustine, particularly to Oby, for helping to organise the walk, to Fr Francis Higgins (parish priest) for his support and to all those who participated in the walk. You have sent a powerful message to world leaders to protect the rights of people on the move.

> Click here for more information on how to organise a walk in your parish