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Thought for the Week: Virtual Pilgrimage

Virtual Pilgrimage: Walking El Camino de Santiago, Spain (during Lockdown)

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. Psalm 84:5

It has been an ambition of mine to walk El Camino, the Way of Saint James, to Santiago de Compostela, in Northern Spain. It is a form of Pilgrimage along probably the most famous modern-day pilgrimage route. It was featured in film: The Way with Charlie Sheen, a father walking on behalf of his recently deceased son.

The monumental Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela at the end of the route is believed to hold the remains of the apostle St. James after being carried by boat from Jerusalem.

I have signed up to do a sponsored challenge in March 2021 (20th-27th) when hopefully travel bans will be lifted by then. It will be the last 100km ++ which qualifies you for a certificate of completion. And I will be part of a group raising money for Traidcraft, walking 112km in 5 days. You can read more about Traidcraft and the trek on their website

Because it was a long way away I also decide to sign up for a Virtual challenge. Partly as training and also to prove I’m committed. Here you record your daily exercise on Strava– in my case walking the dog during lockdown and beyond. And It was also a way to ensure I kept exercising during these days of lockdown I just completed 440 miles or 772 km on Saturday 3rd Oct – ironically the day of the London virtual marathon.

Maybe you might be interested in a similar Challenge: Walk Hadrian’s Wall or swim the channel (virtually). Or cycle the length of Britain from Lands’ End to John a Groats Or the Camino itself: www.theconqueror.events/camino/

It’s a way of setting a Target and keeping going, which is good in itself, especially in days of social isolation.

If anyone who is part of WPOF wants to sponsor this effort, please follow the link to my support page

All this reminds me of a prayer I first came across in my Grammar school in the 1960s: Lord God, when thou givest to thy servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same, until it be thoroughly finished, that yieldeth the true glory; through him who, for the finishing of thy work, laid down his life for us, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen. Attributed to Sir Francis Drake (1540-96)

Phil Simpson, member of the Christian faith

Date: Monday 12th October 2020


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