Derby to Belper – Day 1 of the Padley/ Share the Journey Pilgrimage

Thanks to Bishop Patrick for putting Vincent Cundy in touch with me. This is Vincent’s 11th year of organising the four-day Padley Pilgrimage and it seemed fitting to combine it with Share the Journey. Day 1 started with Mass in the Bridge Gate Convent Chapel, celebrated by Fr Paul, visiting from Arusha in Tanzania. Padley 1After tea and toast kindly provided by the Sisters, we made our way to St Mary’s Bridge, where on 25th July 1588, Nicholas Garlick, Robert Ludlam and Richard Simpson were hung drawn and quartered and their remains draped over the chapel entrance. Garlick and Ludlam, two Roman Catholic priests, were arrested at Padley Manor and brought to Derby for trial on a charge of High Treason, together with Simpson another priest who was already in custody. After conviction, they spent their last night at the chapel which was then in use as a prison. The men are now remembered as the Padley Martyrs.

We began our journey with prayers; for refugees and for vocations and heard David’s story, a refugee from South Sudan. We then headed north out of Derby, walking along the Derwent Valley Heritage Trail.Padley 2

Along the way we passed some beautiful countryside, tackling some very overgrown footpaths and very dry fields (a turf farm).  We took some time out at Little Eaton for a comfort break and continued on to Duffield where two of our group headed back to Derby.  Finding a lovely spot for lunch we first heard Liz telling us Mohamed’s story and remembered him and others in our prayers.  We carried on to Belper, enjoying a welcome cuppa in Morrison’s café and there I left the group to carry on to Whatstandwell as I headed to the station and the train home.

There is something very humbling about meeting a new group of people from different countries (Fr Paul joined us!) and different walks of life.  And yet we all had something in common.  A desire to walk in solidarity not only as part of  Share the Journey campaign but also to remember our past and pray for our future.  And a wonderful opportunity to walk and talk!Padley 3

At the start of the day I introduced my fellow pilgrims to my two tangible symbols of the plight of refugees; the Lampedusa Cross, which will continue on to Padley and the bracelet I received in May when I attended the CIDSE conference in The Hague.  Each participant was given a gift by our Dutch hosts CORDAID; a bracelet made of fabric from life jackets abandoned on the Greek island of Lesbos.  We all took turns carrying the cross and wearing the bracelet.  Other pilgrims will join the group over the next few days, finally meeting up with pilgrims from both Hallam and Nottingham Diocese at Grindleford Station for Mass at Padley on Sunday at 3.30pm.padley

Are you planning a walk over the summer?  Or are you walking on your holidays?  Our initial target of walking once around the globe has been well and truly smashed and we are now on our third loop of the globe!  Add your miles and let us know about your walks.

Organise a Share the Journey walk

Grandma Duty – Attending Stations of the Cross

On Grandma duty today and attended English Martyr’s Primary School in Long Eaton to join staff, students, parents and grandparents for the last day of term and a most beautiful and moving Stations of the Cross.EM stations 1

Mrs Mann informed us that each class had been preparing all week for their ‘station’, each presenting some visual to share.  The children processed into the hall so quietly and prayerfully.  As each Station was announced we reflected on scripture and each class presented their work.

The choir performed  ‘Something inside so strong’ – beautifully and powerfully sung!  Wonderful images were presented for the 4th Station, when Jesus met His mother; the children having written about the qualities of their own mothers.   We ended with the 12th Station, the chaplaincy team placing candles on and around the wooden cross which was placed in the middle of the hall.  EM stations 2

Donate to CAFOD this Lent

A most beautiful service!  Thank you especially to the Chaplaincy Team who led the service and afterwards told me about their CAFOD fundraising activities during Lent; sponsored silence, sponsored run, nail bar!  Their eyes lit up when I reminded them that all their donations would be doubled this Lent, thanks to UK government!

What a creative idea to engage with the Stations of the Cross.  How easy it would be to adapt for a parish setting; different groups in the parish preparing and presenting each Station.

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The Chaplaincy Team

 

 

Inspiring Sister speaks of her work amongst Zambia’s poor

Sr. Yvonne Mwalula Mwila will be visiting Nottingham diocese in February and you’re welcome to come and meet her!

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Sr. Yvonne Mwalula Mwila

“Go to places that nobody wants to go. Go and save the poor and the vulnerable. Do what others don’t want to do – especially if it is for the poor and the most vulnerable. The moment you forget Christ and the poor, you cease to exist.”

Powerful words, spoken by Fr. Victor Braun, founder of the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. They have inspired his congregation ever since, none more so than Sister Yvonne Mwalula Mwila, Mother Superior of the Sisters in Mbala, northern Zambia. She devotes her time to some of the poorest, most vulnerable people in Zambia helping them to make a living as well as training them with new skills.

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Florence in front of her fish pond

She works with people like Florence, women looking to provide for their families. With CAFOD’s support, the sisters were able to teach Florence how to build a fish pond and stock it with a bucketful of tiny fish, no bigger than your thumb! With time to grow, the fish are large enough to sell to give Florence an income with which to buy school books and clothes for her children.

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The tilapia fish that Florence will farm

Sister Yvonne has a particular passion for people living with HIV and AIDS and she now works with the Households in Distress programme (HID) which aims to reduce impact of HIV/AIDS, working with poor and marginalised. The programme also supports young adults with special needs and vulnerable adults. Describing her work, she says “I feel so privileged to have been part of this service of love.”

We are delighted that Sr. Yvonne will be visiting our Nottingham Volunteer Centre on Saturday 18th February, between 10.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. Come and meet her to hear some inspiring stories about the work she is able to do with your support.