Sharing the Journey in Stoke-on-Trent

Inspired by Pope Francis’s call to Share the Journey with refugees and migrants forced by war or poverty to leave their homelands, a group of 36 CAFOD supporters from parishes in North Staffordshire gathered at Sacred Heart Church in Hanley on Saturday 16 June and walked a total of 40.8 miles. The miles walked by the group will be added to the totaliser , demonstrating solidarity with those on the move and asking world leaders to agree new and ambitious UN agreements on migration. 

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Bishop David McGough and MP Gareth Snell led the walkers as they set off from Sacred Heart Parish in Hanley

The walk was led by Bishop David McGough, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham. The M.P. for Stoke Central, Gareth Snell took part as did local councillor Amjid Wazir.   N Staffs StJ walk 4

 

CAFOD Volunteer Phil Mayland, who organised the walk said ‘We were pleased with the turn out because it was raining quite heavily earlier. The walk itself was very good. We stopped to listen to stories of refugees at the City Central Mosque, St Mark’s (C of E) Shelton, and ASHA.  Sanctus St Mark’s and ASHA are the two main agencies offering extra support to asylum seekers and refugees in Stoke-on-Trent. We stopped at ASHA for refreshments and as we returned via the Mosque we were welcomed with bottled water, orange juice and the biggest box of Medjoul dates you have ever seen!’

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If you would like to organise your own Share the Journey walk, please do get in touch with us at birmingham@cafod.org.uk or visit our website. 

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St Anthony of Padua – Oxford “Shares the Journey”

Inspired by Pope Francis call to Share the Journey with refugees and migrants forced by war or poverty to leave their homelands, on Pentecost Sunday (20 June) a group of 22 people, including 18 adults, two teenagers and two young adults from St Anthony of Padua’s Parish in Oxford, walked the 5 miles from Headley Way Church to the Oratory in central Oxford via St Gregory and St Augustine’s Church on Woodstock Road. The miles walked by the group will be added to the totaliser, but more importantly, they will show concrete support for those on the move and contribute to the advocacy efforts to spur world leaders to agree new and ambitious UN agreements on migration.

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It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, and the group started off by holding prayers and the first of five reading at their own church. Then, a second reflection on the banks of the River Cherwell whose gentle tranquillity stood in stark contrast with the plight of refugees crossing war torn borders. A third reflection was held in St Gregory and St Augustine’s, where local parishioners showed their generous hospitality by offering light refreshments to the walkers. The fourth reflection was outside St Aloysius School, where it was difficult not to think about the impact of migration and displacement on the education opportunities for refugee children.  The fifth reflection and final prayer took place in the Oratory just before vespers.

The beautiful weather seemed like God’s smile accompanying the group along the way. And the inevitable tiredness after the long march was only a small token to pay for the privilege to have Shared the Journey.

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If you feel inspired by this story to organise your own Share the Journey walk, get in touch with us at dpurfield@cafod.org.uk or visit our website. Whether you are parish group or a school class, you will find it is packed with resources!