CAFOD Southwark Pilgrimage in Hartley

A group of CAFOD supporters gathered in Hartley to take part in a pilgrimage to think about and reflect on the current refugee crisis.

5 ways you and your Parish can help refugees

Our lovely group of pilgrims gathered at St Francis de Sales Church in Hartley, prepared for a day filled with prayer, praise and reflection on the increasing number of refugees.

The pilgrims on their journey

“Before we set out on our challenging but rewarding pilgrimage, we had a well-prepared lunch generously provided by the parishioners at St Francis De Sales.

Write your own messages of hope for refugees 

“Once we had eaten our lovely lunch, we set off on our 3-4 mile walk in the magnificent Kent countryside of Hartley and Fawkham, where we were encouraged to look for signs of God’s love around us. As we walked in the countryside, we stopped on several occasions to pray and reflect on the difficult challenges the refugees have faced.

“When reflecting on the refugee crisis, we called to contemplate God’s abundant love and to share compassion with our global family. We learnt of the poor living conditions that a large majority of refugees have been calling ‘home’ since they fled their countries. However, we also learnt of the work that CAFOD and their partners have done; by providing essentials for the refugees and migrants to ensure they are made to feel welcome, respected and loved.”

The work of CAFOD and its partners has had positive impacts on the lives of the refugees, as it has helped them to get by each day. Nonetheless, we are aware that there is still more to do. Additionally, we signed messages of hope for refugees, which will reach the refugees towards the end of the year.

5 ways you and your Parish can help refugees

“After our motivating walk, we finished our pilgrimage at St Francis de Sales where we enjoyed a well-deserved cup of tea and slice of cake.

“This pilgrimage was extremely rewarding, not only did we receive a good work out from our walk, we also strengthened our connection with God as well as show solidarity with all those fleeing war, poverty and persecution in our world.”

Write your own messages of hope for refugees 

We would like to take the time to thank everyone who joined us on this satisfying journey to make it such a pleasant experience. Additionally, we would like to say a special thanks to the group of parishioners who provided refreshments, the Knights of St Columba, led by Frank Stanley, who guided us and kept is safe on the roads and to CAFOD Parish Contact at St Francis de Sales, Phil Kerton who organised all the logistics for the day. We all hope you had a lovely day!

Taking part in a pilgrimage is a fantastic way to enhance your connection with God, reflect on events which are occurring in the world and keep kit and healthy. We hope that the events of the our pilgrimage will inspire and motivate you to take part in a pilgrimage. Please visit to find more information on leading your own pilgrimage in your parish.

God Bless!


CAFOD Southwark Summer Pilgrimage 2014


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.

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Join the CAFOD Southwark Summer Pilgrimage this Saturday

It is not too late to book and join us for our Summer Pilgrimage on Saturday 7 June, when we will walk in the Kent countryside to pray and reflect on the beauty of God’s creation and how we can care for it. All that you need to do is get in touch with the CAFOD Southwark Office, by phoning on 020 8466 9901 or by emailing us at

The details of the day are as follows –

From: St Francis de Sales Church, Church Road, Hartley,  DA3 8DW

12 noon: Simple soup lunch

1pm: Set off on 3-4 mile pilgrimage on pathways via St Mary’s Fawkham and All Saints Hartley. There will be stops for prayer and reflection along the way.

4pm: Return to St Francis de Sales for tea and cake

5:30pm: Opportunity to attend Holy Mass at St Francis de Sales

The nearest train station is Longfield, just 30 mins from London Victoria and 15 mins from Bromley South. We are happy to arrange lifts for people from the station, there are also several local buses that run from the station to close by  St Francis de Sales Church including the 433 and the 423.

Please note that the short route is no longer available.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.