CAFOD Middlesbrough’s Just One World Pilgrimage started yesterday in glorious sunshine. Fr Damien Humpries. OSB and parishioners at the Benedictine Monastery in Osmotherley gave the pilgrims a warm welcome and a blessing before they set off on their ten-mile walk to Hutton Rudby. Eleven pilgrims including two 16 year old asylum seekers from the Ivory Coast and Guinea were among the group. Ibrahim and Yakuba can speak very little English but their presence brought home the plight of so many displaced people with whom CAFOD works around the world. The temperatures soared to the mid 20’s as the day passed but spirits were high among the group and a short detour enabled them to visit Swainby Castle and a medieval church.
Later, the pilgrims received a very warm welcome in the refreshingly cool Church House, where an absolute feast had been prepared by the generous Methodist community in Hutton Rudby. When refreshments had been shared by all, Reverend Graham Peacock led a thought provoking service, saying how sometimes we may not always welcome what God is asking of us, or indeed the message of God that comes to us through other people. Drawing on the experiences of Jeremiah, he reflected on how his prophecies were not welcomed by his listeners, as is often the case with people who speak of the injustices of our day. It upsets the hearers and brings unwanted challenges to them and their lifestyles but it also contains an invitation, if it is accepted.
Then in a spirit of service, they washed the feet of those pilgrims who volunteered to allow them to serve them in this way, just as Jesus did for his own disciples at the last supper. It was a very moving and humbling experience to participate in and witness. We ended with thanks and praise to God for all the gifts that had been given to us, through the generosity of so many people. The whole day was so much more than we had anticipated, we were truly blessed!
You can join in with our pilgrims in prayer using this link: Middlesbrough pilgrimage booklet