I enjoy going on pilgrimage, and I’ve enjoyed pilgrimages to many places, La Salette, Rocamadour, Ladyewell, Montserrat, and Walsingham, to name a few. I’m starting a very different pilgrimage on March 1st. I hope to walk 480 miles, meet different people, think, pray, be enriched by the pilgrimage and look at my journey in my life. On July 25th, I will arrive at my destination.
In these unusual, constrained, lockdown days this will be a virtual pilgrimage. I will indeed, hopefully, walk 480 miles, on an average of about 3-4 miles each day. However, I will be at home, doing my usual work, and living as usual.
Some days, as circumstances permit, I will walk with another person, many days I will walk alone. I will also take the time to read, to listen to music, to seek peace and all within my daily life. In this way it will be an inner journey as well as on outer one. As with any pilgrimage I will pray, and I feel sure I will be supported by the prayer and care of others.
I know it will need some discipline and imagination. I’m looking forward to doing it.
To help and encourage me I will, virtually, follow the traditional pilgrimage route from Saint Jean Pied de Port, to Santiago de Compostella – the Camino Frances – the northern route. It is, of course, a well trodden pilgrim route. Seeing on a map where I would have reached according to the miles I have walked will be an encouragement to me. It will also good to see short videos of places along the route, and read of the experience of fellow pilgrims. Hopefully I will ‘arrive’ in Santiago de Compostella on it’s great feast day – the feast of St James, July 25th.
A different pilgrimage, in different days. This isn’t a ‘sponsored walk’ but I have been encouraged to set up a donations page, with money given going to support the work we do at St Chrysostom’s for trafficked people. Perhaps, at least, a meal could be organised for July 25th for the trafficked men, in Church! That donations page will be online in a week or two.
On my personal Facebook feed I will keep a note of progress. At certain points I will invite people to join me online for a short period of reflection and prayer. I’m looking forward to reporting back here on the blog from time to time.