*** More photos to follow ***
Firstly, I would like to say thank you so much for everyone’s prayers, words of support and for your donations which was a source of drive for me.
The Thames Path Way is a visually beautiful long distance walk from start to finish. From a spiritual perspective, this walk has been an incredible experience at different levels for me that I will hopefully cherish in years to come. It was a truly humbling experience.
The first day of the walk (Fri 07 Oct 11) I served at the Traditional Latin Mass and Father Redman was the celebrant at St Dominic’s (Dursley). It was a beautiful way to start the epic journey on the Feast of the Holy Rosary. After Mass, Father Redman then dropped me at the start of the walk at the source of the River Thames.
Day 1 (Fri 07 Oct 11) – Source of the Thames (Kemble, Gloucestershire) to Lechlade – 23 miles
Day 2 (Sat 08 Oct 11) – Lechlade to Oxford 30 miles
Day 3 (Sun 09 Oct 11) – Oxford to Wallingford – 23 miles
Day 4 (Mon 10 Oct 11) – Wallingford to Henley-on-Thames – 27 miles
Day 5 (Tue 11 Oct 11) – Henley-on-Thames to Maidenhead – 20 miles
Day 6 (Wed 12 Oct 11) – Maidenhead to Teddington – 30 miles
Day 7 (Thu 13 Oct 11) – Teddington to Tower Bridge (St Patrick’s Church) – 22 miles It was a pleasure and a privilege to have meet Canon Samuels.
Day 8 (Fri 14 Oct 11) – Tower Bridge to Thames Barrier – 10 miles. I attended the Good Counsel Vigil at the Whitfield Street Abortuary in the morning and then carried on my walk, concluding with the Traditional Latin Mass at Corpus Christi (Covent Garden’s), Central London.
Each day I offered my sufferings for specific intentions. For example, for the end of abortion, the women that carry the pain and sorrow of having an abortion and that Our Lady comforts them, the Holy Souls in Purgatory and for other private intentions.
During the eight days I had plenty of time for reflection about the aspects of suffering and I also grew closer to God. In the times of intense physical hardship and exhaustion this forced me to pray deeper than before and to draw on the intercession of Our Lady, the Saints and Angels. In suffering I realised that we have a choice to endure it by ourselves or in the company of our Lord. This taught me to have dependence and reliance on God.
Also suffering is a powerful process of purification preparing us for Heaven and it reminded me that we live in a fallen world and we must have a submissive heart to God. From my walk I learnt of God’s love through my trial and to trust God in challenging circumstances even if this involves suffering.
The feeling of isolation and loneliness whilst suffering was at times demanding. This allowed me think about the situation for pregnant woman who consider or have an abortion and the loneliness and isolation that they must feel and endure. It also made me appreciate my family and friends because some people each day feel isolated and lonely – so it was a privilege to have experienced this and this has made me rediscover the value of friendship.
After each day I thank God for the suffering I endured because it helped me develop a tender heart toward others who are in pain, reflect on my weakness and it has strengthened and deepened my love for God and for the beauty of the Catholic Faith. Each day I thanked God for watching over me with an incomparable love, every moment bestowing favours and for the benefits which I have received from him, particularly for that day.
Being divorced from the daily commotions of the modern life style was liberating. It was nice to enjoy the silence and therefore giving me the opportunity to focus on God. It was a joy from being disconnected from modern technology - no internet and I only carried a mobile phone for emergency use. Just relying solely on what I was carrying was liberating and teaching me to trust in God. I felt free from material and modern distractions. This enabled me to reflect, meditate and from a closer relationship with God and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
After wearing the same clothes, not adequately bathing and living in a tent for five nights does make you reflect about people that are homeless that do not have the luxury of multiple set of clothes, variety of food, washing facilities and accommodation. Aspects of my life that I readily take for granted.
Whilst on my walk I told several people about my charity walk baring witness to the truth and one woman gave me a donation, which was very touching. Also, I am grateful for the Catholic family in Teddington for providing me accommodation and food because there were no campsites in the area and for Canon Samuels the following night at St Patricks (near Tower Bridge).
As I walked closer to London it made me realise that so many people are obsessed by consumerism (clothing and electronic requirement etc) and the bombardment of advertising.
Overall, it was a fantastic pilgrimage that hopefully will save lives and souls of babies and their mothers and whilst on my journey I deepen my love for God primarily through suffering.
Remember in your prayers:
The women that are considering an abortion and that they may discover the preciousness of life.
The women that carry the burden and pain of having had an abortion, and that Our Lady, refuge of sinners, comfort them in their sorrow. May they find peace and reconciliation with God.
I am walking the entire length of the Thames Path Way (184 miles long) in eight days (Fri 07 Oct 11 - Fri 14 Oct 11) for The Good Counsel Network.
The Good Counsel Network is a pro-life charity that helps women in the most difficult and desperate situations with financial, moral and spiritual support, who would otherwise feel they have no other option than to have an abortion. Their work is founded on the beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church. The centres are open to all women regardless of background or beliefs.
If you want to find out more about them visit www.goodcounselnetwork.com or visit their blog http://mariastopsabortion.blogspot.com.
The Thames Path Way Walk
The Thames Path Way (184 miles long) follows the course of the Thames River from the source (near Kemble, Gloucestershire) to the Thames Barrier (London). I will be walking the Thames Path Way solo and averaging 23 miles per day whilst carrying all my kit (tent, sleeping system and food etc), which will weigh approximately 28 lbs (12.7 kg), for eight days (Fri 07 Oct 11 – Fri 14 Oct 11).
On the first morning of my walk (Fri 07 Oct 11) I will hear the Traditional Latin Mass at St Dominic’s (Dursley, Gloucestershire). After completing my walk (Fri 14 Oct 11) I will hear the Traditional Latin Mass at Corpus Christi (Maiden Lane, Central London) in the evening, which the Latin Mass Society organises for the work of the Good Counsel Network.
Every donation, however small or large, is an essential contribution to the continuation of the great work that The Good Counsel Network does by saving thousands of unborn lives.
Thank you for your support!