It’s a bit surreal but this day last year I was walking nearly 16 miles between Chawton and Farnham on the Pilgrims Way in Hampshire and Surrey.
Today I am staying in Pilgrims Hall near Brentwood by a much less known Pilgrims Way from Waltham Abbey to Canterbury. The difference is I’m only doing a couple of miles jog on this one!
So what is pilgrimage? I like this quote from a booklet I found on Holy Island last year.
“Pilgrimage encompasses two distinct and yet complementary concepts: the physical journey to a spiritually significant place and the journey of the heart and mind as they move nearer to God”.
A deliberate action with two components. We are always on an inner and outer journey but unless we are purposeful it’s easy to get lost and forget. Looking back a year there are sections of the route to Farnham I remember very well and others I can’t recall at all. How quickly memories fade!
I have been reading a book called “Up from the Ashes” by a Syrian doctor. It is quite harrowing in places (though not graphic). The journey Dr A has gone through has been horrendous. Let’s be thankful for our own journey, even with it’s challenges and support organisations like Open Doors that stand alongside those on really challenging journeys.