Parishioners from all over Southwark have been gathering together to organise walks as part CAFOD’s response to Pope Francis’ Share the Journey campaign. Together they prayed, reflected and walked. Discover some of those walks, get inspired and plan on how you are going to add your steps before September.
See our totaliser for how far we’ve already walked
The steps we’ve taken!
Get inspired by some of the imaginative ways people have added their steps.
Kathleen O’Brien of Our Lady of Mt Carmel said: “Most of our parish Share the Journey walkers completed the entire six and a half miles from Faversham to Seasalter, walking along part of the Saxon Shore Way, an ancient pilgrimage route.
The weather was glorious and everyone enjoyed the views over the sea wall, across the beautiful blue water in the estuary to the Isle of Sheppey beyond. On the way we read and reflected on refugee stories from around the world. It was sobering to hear the latest UN statistic that one person is forced from their homes every two seconds. We traced the shoreline all the way to Seasalter, where Una and Derek welcomed us into their beachfront home for a much-needed cup of tea.”
In Westgate a walk was organised for residents of Lourdes Community Nursing and Residential Home. Said Sister Angela: “On 6 June twenty-five of us took part in this ‘walk’ or ‘journey on wheels’, including residents, carers, staff, sisters from the Westgate Ursuline Community and CAFOD volunteers. Our Nursing Home Manager, himself a migrant, encouraged the residents to take part, arranged the transport and organised the extra help needed for it to happen! We visited the residents and spoke with them about Pope Francis’ invitation to “Share the Journey”. We reflected on one of the stories in the information leaflets and people signed the petition.
“Earlier in May, fifteen parishioners from The Holy Family, Birchington and Westgate, including our CAFOD volunteers, walked from Birchington Square to Somali Farm. We shared a migrant’s story, and a prayer, before setting out in twos or threes to talk about our own stories. At Somali Farm we enjoyed afternoon tea and further discussion and signed our ‘Share the Journey’ petition cards. Before we set out again, we shared another migrant’s story, a reflection and a final prayer. Like many migrants and refugees, at certain points along our journey home, we said goodbye to each other, before we went our separate ways.
“And Isabel, a parishioner in her eighties, has achieved over 3,000 steps in a few weeks, with her short daily walks to church, shops and the GP surgery! Another parishioner hopes to encourage his family to accompany him on an 18 mile walk from Dover to Sandwich during their summer holiday.”
It’s not too late to add your steps!
Between now and September there’s still time to spread the message and organise a walk in your parish. It can be anything from a stroll to church or a pilgrimage; from a sponsored walk to a few steps around the pews of your church.
Other ways to play your part
Pope Francis calls on us as Catholics to urge world leaders to act with courage and compassion, to put the human dignity of people on the move at the heart of two crucial UN ‘compacts’. These will be agreed in September of this year. As well as walking in solidarity, here are some of the ways you can play your part.
Sign our petition to the prime minister