Here is my long awaited report of the 3rd GK Chesterton Pilgrimage, which took place on Tuesday 30th July 2013. After last year’s fiasco about the distances, we started almost an hour earlier this year. I arrived five minutes late at St Georges Church of England Church, it was raining, I could see no one outside! Strange I thought, as I was sure Malcolm would be there as he popped along last week just to check on the starting point and Elvira had flown in from Madrid for the Pilgrimage. As I approached the gate of the Church, I could hear voices, I found nine people sitting in the outside porch. “Sorry, are you all here for the Chesterton Pilgrimage?” I asked, “Of course, why else would we be here?” You would need to read last year’s report to understand my surprise.
We said the GK Chesterton prayer and off TEN of us went, taking the first steps on the 27 mile walking Pilgrimage! (My phone then stopped working, so I put no updates on Twitter and took no photos). We talked, walked and prayed our way along the road, in the rain to Ealing. We stopped to pray outside the abortion centre, with the unbelievable history. Here we were joined by more Pilgrims, including Stella from last year. We all said the GK Chesterton prayer in English and Spanish (Charis was happy to let Elvira do the Spanish) with the great folk from Good Counsel who come here all day, five days a week to pray and offer hope and support to the Mums tempted to abort.
By now we were running late! We left the road to walk along the canal to Uxbridge. We spoke to Father Schofield and he delayed the 1.30pm Sung Old Rite Mass a bit. (Last year we had a low Mass, but thanks to the Latin Mass Society we were able to have a Sung Mass, as they sponsored the music.) There were more than FIFTY people at the Mass, we sang Chesterton Hymn at the end and then had lunch in the church hall. Then we were off again with a few extra pilgrims, being led by Fr. Schofield the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael’s Uxbridge. And so we charged on and invaded Northampton Diocese, with a Westminster Priest giving us a History talk about Southlands Manor (Father writes a weekly Catholic History column in the Catholic Times). It had stopped raining, but I still was not dry many hours later when we reached Beaconsfield. We cut across Country towards Tatling End and then as we were leaving Gerards Cross we needed to go under the M40 heading South. We were a bit spread out at this point so those in front turned west along the road! I had to run 500 yards or so to catch and stop them (YES Mum, I ran 500 yards!)
It was great a few hours later to stand at the grave of Chesterton in Shepherds Lane Beaconsfield with about twenty others. We said the prayer in English, signed our map and gave it to Eric, who said the prayer in French. Some of us then fell into the White Hart for a drink, and unlike the first pilgrimage, some even had a drop of alcohol.
Just a few days after this Bishop Peter Doyle announced that he was appointing a Priest to look into the probability of opening the case for the Beatification of Gilbert Keith Chesterton. So if GK Chesterton has had an impact on your life or Faith please email Canon John Udris at Chesterton@oscott.org