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All around the Diocese, groups continue to walk in solidarity with migrants and refugees as they become involved in the CAFOD campaign to Share the Journey

Deacon Andrew Crowley related his experience.

  As my neighbour always says whenever we go walking with him, “It is downhill all the way”.  Well it nearly was as we walked from the Catholic community of St Patrick’s at Sheffield Lane Top to the Town Hall on 12 May.

  It was suggested at our parish meeting that instead of us walking as a discreet group we should tell others and invite them join us.  It would be a welcome opportunity to meet people of different faith traditions and to explore friendship and what we have in common.  This is what Church is all about – making connections with the world around us.

  Invitations were sent to the different churches, mosques and the Hindu temple along the route.  We were joined by people from Anglican parishes of St Cuthbert’s and Christ Church, and the United Reformed Church of St James.  Our pilgrims were offered tea and cake at Christ Church Vicarage where there was an open day, and a little later at the Dar ul Uloom Siddiqia mosque we were provided with much needed drinks and snacks.  The visit was the first time that some had visited a mosque and plans are being made for a longer visit to understand more about our Muslim neighbours.  The offering of refreshments brought to mind the words of Jesus, “I was thirsty and you gave me a drink”.

  We were delighted to be joined by four people from the Hindu Samaj, including Panditji, who is their teacher.  We walked together in solidarity with those on the move throughout the world, as a group of people from different faith traditions and countries, through an area in which many people from different parts of the world are living.  Again the words of Jesus were brought to mind, “I was a stranger and you made me welcome”.

  It is part of our belief that no matter where we come from we are all connected as God’s children.  We experienced this first hand as we made the four mile walk from Lane Top to the Town Hall.  One of the group described the day as, “The most wonderful and lovely day!”

Carol Webster tells us:

  It was a beautiful late Spring Sunday morning, sunny and breezy, when twelve of us, six parishioners from St Joseph’s, Dinnington and six from St Mary Magdalene’s, Maltby walked to Roche Abbey for our annual Trinity Sunday Mass in the grounds of the 14th Century Cistercian Abbey.

  We were walking in solidarity with all migrants and refugees, forced from their homelands because of war, hunger or persecution.  In September, 2018, world leaders will finalise two new global agreements at the United Nations: one on refugees and one on migration.  Urged on by Pope Francis and supported by CAFOD, our small group became part of the Share the Journey campaign, aiming to walk 24,900 miles, the circumference of the World.

  After Mass, we shared stories over tea and coffee and delicious home-made cakes.  We signed cards, calling on the Prime Minister to work with other world leaders to respect the dignity of all migrants.  Then we walked home again.

  We walked 42 miles as our contribution to Share the Journey.  Everyone is invited to join this campaign.  Can you help?