Maria Hutchinson, Sue Harley, Sheila, Liz and her daughter Tallulah in front.
Katie Binns recounts her experience at the 34th Annual Humber Bridge Walk.
“The sunshine was on our side last Saturday as 300 CAFOD and Christian Aid supporters came together to walk the Humber Bridge for the annual Crossing on the 7th of May. The Anglican Bishop of Hull, Alison White, spoke before the two o’clock start about the needs for people around the world to access clean water and gave encouragement to the crowds before leading the walk.
Fortunately, the weather proved a reliable companion and we started off at a good pace with the local marching band cheering us on. The atmosphere during the first crossing was relaxed and inviting, with many supporters wearing fancy dress and walking with their children or dogs.
The pace was slow but agreeable, particularly with the weather getting warmer as the afternoon went on. The CAFOD participants were adorned with sashes and buttons and Sheila Swift, from St Anthony’s and Our Lady of Mercy, cheerfully talked about Pope Francis and Catholic Social Teaching to those who walked by and asked us questions. I discovered in astonishment that she and her husband Bernard Swift have been volunteering for CAFOD for over 50 years. We quickly reached the other side in forty five minutes and had our cards stamped, gratefully accepting a drink and a biscuit from one of the stewards.
It was endearing to see so many cheerful faces, both old and young, walking in the sunshine to support those in poverty. One eight year old CAFOD supporter, wise beyond her years, enthusiastically discussed the importance of charity whilst holding my hand across the bridge. There were mothers, grand-mothers and single parents who were regular attendees, declaring how important the event was in bringing people together from parishes across Hull and the North East. Liz, a CAFOD supporter and mother, said: ‘It’s another way to give thanks to God, which is one of the reasons why my daughter and I have done it for over four years. I get to meet wonderful supporters that I wouldn’t normally meet outside of the parish and that is worth it’s weight in gold.’
After deciding that two crossings was enough for us, we slowed our pace and spent our time enjoying the views of the estuary and the forests surrounding us. We eventually reached the finish point on the other side and, with a sigh of relief, got our last stamp from Bernard Swift who had graciously been manning the CAFOD registration desk.
We proudly collected our certificates and got ice creams whilst taking photographs and exchanging contact details. This group seemed more and more like a family reuniting after a year apart, than a supporter group meeting together for a fundraising event. Clearly, a joyous afternoon was had by all and may the Humber Bridge Cross continue.”