CAFOD Southwark Office Volunteer and Pilgrim, Val Westrap reflects:
The day was warm and sunny as 13 of us gathered for the start of the CAF OD Summer pilgrimage. As always parishioners from St Frances de Sales in Hartley welcomed us warmly and prepared for us delicious homemade soup for lunch before we began our walk, and tea and cake at the end.
We began the pilgrimage with our first reflection in the church. The focus of the pilgrimage was on God’s creation of the world and our part in caring for it. We began by listening to the first verses of the creation story in Genesis where The Spirit was hovering over the waters followed by a prayer that the Holy Spirit would be with us on our pilgrimage and deepen our awareness of the beauty of God’s creation and our responsibility to nurture and care for it.
Our next stop was at St Mary’s Church, Fawkham, followed by a stop in a wooded glade, then on to an open field, the final stop was All Saint’s Church, Hartley where we were encouraged to think of something we love and how it might be affected by climate change as our part in the new “For the love of…”campaign before returning to St Frances de Sales. At each stop we listened to scripture, a reflection and joined in a prayer and a song as we thought about and responded to stories of people around the world already having to cope with the affects of climate change.
This is my fourth time taking part in the CAFOD Southwark pilgrimage, and each time it has been a privilege to be able to spend time with other CAFOD supporters and meet new people, walking, chatting, praying and reflecting together. I would certainly encourage others to join us next year.