🙏 pray,👀 think and 🚶 walk to support refugees

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.

CAFOD supporters walking for Refugees and migrants as part of the Share the Journey campaign launched by Pope Francis

CAFOD supporters walking for Refugees and migrants as part of the Share the Journey campaign launched by Pope Francis.

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.”

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Be inspired by the Share the Journey walk in Hartley

The Share the Journey walk which took place in Hartley on Saturday 9 June is one of many walks organised in the diocese of Southwark. Sixteen amazing volunteers attended the event and walk 60 miles altogether. Marine, one of our Community Participation Coordinator, talks about how inspiring and humbling she found taking part in a Share the Journey walk.

Marine (left) and Rita are sharing their migrant stories during the Share the Journey walk in Hartley

Marine (left) and Rita are sharing their migrant stories during the Share the Journey walk in Hartley

“Parishioners of all ages and nationalities joined together to show their solidarity with refugees and migrants. The first 30 minutes of the walk was in silence so that we could reflect and pray. It helped me focus on why I was walking, to think about how twenty people will be forced to flee their homes every minute – in the next ten minutes that shocking figure would increase to 200.

“We used CAFOD action cards to read about refugees’ stories and were encouraged to talk about our own experiences. One English lady shared how her German grandparents came to England as bakers, but when war broke out they had to leave. One man talked of his journey to arrive here from Myanmar at just ten years old. We heard how when one family first came from Ireland, signs in some Bed and Breakfasts read ‘No travellers, no dogs and no Irish!’

Be part of Share the Journey  

It is humbling to listen to people’s migration stories

“I felt very touched and inspired to listen to people’s migration stories. I thought all these people looked so English and yet I discovered that most of them had a migration story. It brought me back to my own story of migration as a French national and my previous work with refugees and that it was not “them” and “us” but only one family in Christ.

“Little things made me reflect on how fortunate we are in comparison to those fleeing their countries. We were offered tea and coffee before setting off, had plenty of food and fresh water to drink as we walked. We started on a tarmac road, then crossed a forest and field to the church with local parishioners to guide us so that we didn’t get lost. We stopped at churches with toilets and knew we were going home to warm beds. How different to the journey made by refugees, often over rough terrain. To be hungry and not to know where your next meal is; to be cold and not able to find shelter; to be uncertain where you are going and where you will sleep. It was very humbling.”

Organise a Share the Journey walk in your local community 

Testimony from others who joined the walk.

Jill Cass on the Hartley walk

Jill Cass on the Hartley walk

“At the end of the walk, on our return to the church where we had started, we were welcomed with tea and lovely home-made cake. It made me think about what sort of welcome refugees would face.”  Jill Cass.

“I felt truly saddened that refugees have to flee their homes. I loved the walk but my legs are hurting now and I only walked four miles, imagine how it is for refugees.” Annabelle, aged twelve.

“I had no expectations for the walk today, but found it extremely thought provoking so to the reality of the journeys that refugees have to make to find safety and peace. – Merry God Bless and protect all refugees. Thank you” – Gere

Hear from more volunteers on their Share the Journey walk

How to get involved in a Share the Journey walk?

By following seven very simple steps, you can organise your own Share the Journey walk. Collectively, we have already walked the distance around the world – an extraordinary 24,900 miles. We have completed this incredible feat but our work does not stop there – we have decided to do a second walk to show an even stronger support. Can we walk around the world twice? With your help, we can. Organise your walk and log those miles!

Join a Share the Journey walk in your community

Make your steps count for refugees and migrants

Discover some of the walks you can join in Southwark to add miles to Pope Francis’ Share the Journey campaign.  You can also find out how to organise a walk in your community and the other ways you can support the Share the Journey campaign.

Share the journey

CAFOD volunteer Share the Journey walk Hartley in St Francis de Sales

Earlier this year, Pope Francis launched his Share the Journey campaign. This is to show support for the millions forced to flee their homes be it through war, persecution, national disaster or poverty. In support of the campaign, we are asking you all to help walk ‘around the world’, a total 24,901 miles! Six walks have already been organised in Southwark and fourteen more are to come. Look at the planned walks in Southwark below.

See on our totalister how far we’ve already walked

So now it’s time for you to add your miles and every step you take counts! You choose the way – it could be a walk to church, or a pilgrimage. Perhaps a sponsored walk, or even a Kilimanjaro trek for the adventurous! For something a little closer to home, you might choose the Thames or the Medley river. Even a few steps around the pews of your church is enough. Pick your favourite way to add your miles and organise a walk between now and September.

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