Walking for Water in the Diocese of Southwark

Ruth Sinclair-Jones is a CAFOD school volunteer in the diocese of Southwark and, along with hundreds of volunteers, has taken up the CAFOD lent Walk for Water challenge.

Feeling Gratitude for water

Ruth Sinclair Jones ready to Walk for Water for CAFOD Lent challenge

Why am I doing this?  10,000 steps a day, every day, for 40 days during Lent? I’ve taken up this challenge in solidarity with Abdella and his community in northern Ethiopia who have to walk over twice this distance, on rocky terrain, 365 days a year, just to fetch water; and I’m raising money for a community water pump for them.  Six days in, I’m becoming aware of what their daily commitment to walking means: it’s an absolute necessity – no matter what the weather, no matter how they are feeling, no matter what else is happening, they just have to do this walk, every day, or they’d have nothing to drink.  Nothing.  I’m also becoming aware of a sense of real gratitude for something I’ve taken for granted – clean, fresh water to drink, right in my own home, any time I want it, straight from the tap.

Discover Abdella’s walk on a video

So every day my walk includes a local water source, to remind me why I’m doing this. And there are so many! I’ve walked along the Thames – the biggest local water source, where my own water comes from – and I’m thankful I don’t need to fetch it home in jerrycans!  I’ve hiked along the river Wandle, now alive again and supporting fish.  I’ve tramped across our local commons – Tooting and Clapham – with their ponds that support so much wildlife. And I’ve trailed round the local streets, finishing at home with my own water source – the garden pond, where the sparrows come to drink.

Like Ruth, join the walk for Water

Being lucky enough to walk and reflect

I walk at different times of the day – I’ve had one night walk so far: a challenge after a busy day, and one cold walk in the rain and mud – but most days walking is enjoyable.  Friends and family have been generous with their donations and their encouragement, and are inspiring me to keep going: still 34 days ahead of me!  I’m feeling very positive about having a clear goal to aim for this Lent – helping a community in Ethiopia through CAFOD to have a healthier, safer, more fulfilling life with greater opportunities. And I’m enjoying the times of reflection while I walk – feeling closer to nature – turning lockdown into an opportunity to discover beautiful places in my local area – feeling grateful for water, and for life. I hope to be healthier too after 40 days’ walking – and to keep up the habit of walking after this, knowing that, unlike Abdella and his community I can walk just for leisure and reflection – and enjoy a drink of water from the tap when I come home.

Cant walk? Sponsor Ruth to show your solidarity


Sophia’s journey : from her Lent conversion to Walking for Water

Sophia White, who is based in the diocese of Southwark, is on a gap year with CAFOD. She is sharing with us what Lent is for her and why she will take on the 10,000 steps challenge.

Lent is traditionally a season of fasting, prayer and penitence in preparation for the celebration of Easter. It is a season which is very dear to my heart.

A lent journey : from conversion to Walking for Water

Sophia White is taking the 10,000 step Walk for Water Challenge this lent 2021

For Lent 2018, I travelled across the United States in a journey which ultimately led to me being received into the Catholic Church on Pentecost that year. I then moved to Dublin to study theology, and much of Lent 2019 was spent writing essays and grieving the sudden death of a childhood friend. Lent 2020 was Lent in Lockdown 1, and we could argue that last year’s Lent is the longest 40 days of our lives.

My hope is that Lent 2021 will be less of a rollercoaster than these previous years. Along with many of CAFOD’s supporters, I will be joining in with the 10,000 steps-per-day Walk for Water, and on Divine Mercy Sunday I will be celebrating my new-found fitness by running the Royal Parks Virtual Half Marathon. I’m fortunate to live in the countryside, where the beauty of the landscape has the added bonus of making social distancing exceptionally easy.

Join Sophia in the Walk for Water

Many of my friends are not Christian, though they join in with Lent as it’s good for your health to give up chocolate and the like for forty days. They ask me what giving up chocolate – or taking up running – has to do with faith and religion. The short answer is ‘to make more room for God in one’s life’, and the longer answer is that I don’t just give up chocolate or take up walking; I also set more time aside for prayer, follow a Lenten reading plan, pray Stations of the Cross with CAFOD. By this point, I have usually lost my audience and left myself wondering whether my laundry list of Lenten practices is bringing me any closer to God after all.

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Our Lady of the Rosary will “Beat the Bounds” on 8th July 2018 with a Share the Journey walk

Come and join the parishioners from Our Lady of the Rosary in Blacken as they walk around the Parish Boundary in support of CAFOD’s Share the Journey campaign on Sunday 8th July 2018.

CAFOD volunteers on their way to a Share the Journey walk to show their Solidarity with refugees

CAFOD volunteers on their way to a Share the Journey walk to show their Solidarity with refugees

Every Stranger who knocks at our door is an encounter with Jesus Christ’  Pope Francis


Leaving at Junctions: Leaving at: Miles
Starting at Our Lady of the Rosary Church

330a Burnt Oak Lane, Blackfen, DA15 8LW

1.30pm 0.4 mi
Lyndon Avenue/ Wellington Avenue

Walking along Lyndon Avenue and Boundary Road to

1.15pm 1.4mi
Bexley Road/  Avery Hill Road

Meeting at shopping parade side of traffic lights

2.00pm 0.7mi
Halfway Street / Crombie Road

Walking via Old Farm Avenue to


2.20pm 1.4mi
Station Road / Hurst Road

Meet outside Holy Trinity Church

3.05pm 0.9mi
Hurst Road / Penhill Road

Walking along Penhill Road to

3.35pm 0.8mi
Park Mead / Danson Underpass

Walking along East Rochester Way  and Gwillim Close to Blackfen OLOR

4.00pm 1.0mi
5.00pm Tea and Cake in the small hall.




H&S:  All participants are responsible for their own safety