The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue
"Oh PLEASE say I'm the Archbishop of Canterbury!"

Monday, 9 September 2019

Chesterton's Ultra Loyal Troop, Local Pilgrimage Report


Oh Miss, our Mr Chesterton dying – he was a sorter saint Miss, wasn’t he – just to look at him when you handed him his hat made you feel sorter awesome.Said a maid with tears in her eyes, of a house GKC used to visit in Beaconsfield. And so believing this maid to be correct we set off on the 9th Annual GK Chesterton Walking Pilgrimage, on Saturday 27th July in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Nineteen. We departed from the local Anglican Church where GKC was Baptised in 1874, St Georges, Aubrey Walk, Notting Hill. We read the paragraph from theAutobiography about his Baptism and said the Chesterton Prayer, you should do both now.

Others joined us along the way in Acton and Ealing. In Hanwell we left the main road to walk to West Drayton along the canal, as this is a nicer and longer route. We left the canal near the Malt Shovel Public House, where we made a brief stop and were joined by yet more Pilgrims. Three impatient youngsters would not wait for the rest of us at this point, so we gave them a map and pointed out the short cut which meant missing a pub along the way and they were off. “As they did not want to be late for Mass!” The main group of Chesterton’s Ultra Loyal Troop, got to the Brigittine Convent in Iver ahead of them as they had missed the shortcut and the Pub! The two young Servers at the Low Old Rite Mass offered by Father O’Donahue FSSP in thanksgiving for the conversion of GK Chesterton, did a great job, particularly as this was the first time Rufus had served at Mass. Father’s sermon about Our Lady was truly inspired as one of the non-Catholics on the Pilgrimage had been chatting with one of the other Pilgrims about this very subject in the morning.


After a quick bite to eat we were off again. Father and others joined us for the last few miles across the fields to Beaconsfield, where in Shepherds Lane GKC is buried. Many Rosaries were said along the way, and we almost ended by saying the Chesterton prayer at his graveside, which we did, but that was not the end. For the day ended in the White Hart Public House which was Chesterton’s local pub for many years. Sitting there in pain and laughter I realised that forty Pilgrims had walked all or part of the 27 miles from the church to the grave and onto the pub. And in the spirituality of GKC we gave thanks to God for all of it, the pain, the rain, the friends, the Mass, our lives, the beer and even the singing and as the LOCAL members of Chesterton's Ultra Loyal Troop went home, I remembered Margaret in her 80’s walking next to a five year old across the fields, with devotion to GKC. And not to forget William age 12 who walked the full 27 miles!

Email your home address to CatholicGKCSociety@yahoo.co.uk (UK and Ireland only) and we will post you a GK Chesterton prayercard, or up to 20 copies, just let us know how many you would like.  Next year’s Pilgrimage, the tenth, will be on Saturday 25 July. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @CatholicGKCSoc.

We are very pleased to say that this year's Pilgrimage has raised £3,327 so far for the Good Counsel Network's life-saving work and you can still donate here; https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gkcwalk2019


When thinking of GKC’s Holiness it is interesting to read what Arthur Bryant (successor to GK as the author of the ‘Notebook') had to say about him in regard to the feasts on 1st and 2nd November. Here is what he wrote in the October 31st 1936 edition of the Illustrated London News, the year GK died.

"..there are many whose names appears on no Christian calendar, who by struggle and endeavour and conquest earned their right to be included among the saintly company. Of such was that very wise and good man who for 31 years prior to this summer contributed to this page. Gilbert Keith Chesterton spent his whole life in teaching others how to live. They very sound of his name is like a trumpet call. To him the world was like a strenuous field in which one went about doing battle with evil in order that good might endure. If from his generation one had to select one man who might have stood as type of Don Quixote or of St George who slew the dragon, it was he. If any literary name of our age becomes a legend it will be his…He was the kind of man of whom Bunyan was thinking when he drew the picture of Mr Greatheart. His sword was at the service of pilgrims. And what a sword it was!...his catholicism was an all-comprehending democracy...I never met a more generous man, and I never saw a happier. And I do not believe there is anyone who had the inestimable privilege to know GKC who would not say the same. It is right that he should be remembered on the day set apart for recollection of the saints of God.”


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