Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Thursday, 30 July 2020

A Sign From God On The 10th Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage

“I will admit that I have strong hopes that it will be one day acknowledged that G. K. C. died a saint.” WR Titterton Friend and first biographer of GKC

When lockdown happened because of COVID-19, plans for this year’s 10th Annual GK Chesterton Walking Pilgrimage evolved on a daily basis. At one point, it looked as if I might do the 27 mile walk on my own as my daily exercise. But by the time we got around to the pilgrimage, it was obvious that we could do a lot more than that. So, on Saturday, 25th July, Kim, Andrea, Daniel and myself said the GK Chesterton prayer outside St. George’s C of E church in Aubery Walk, Notting Hill, read a paragraph from his autobiography, and then putting one foot in front of the other, set off for Mass. We were joined a couple of hours later in Ealing by Flora and Jason. We then descended upon the canal and more Rosaries were said. We didn’t stop until we arrived at the “Malt Shovel” pub on Iver Lane, Cowley. We had a swift drink and then headed cross-country, past Pinewood Studios, and onto Mass at the Bridgettine Convent in Iver Heath.

Due to COVID-19, the Sisters’ chapel was not available, but they kindly allowed us, with Bishop
Oakley’s permission, to have Mass on the Altar at their outside grotto. I’m pleased to say that, despite the inclement weather, over 50 people attended the Old Rite Mass offered by Fr. Patrick O’Donohue, FSSP. He gave an excellent sermon. Father was ably assisted by altar-servers Rufus and Nathanael at a distance. After Communion I noticed one chap quietly saying the Chesterton prayer in Irish while kneeling in the rain. At the end of Mass, the entire congregation joined in with Father in singing Chesterton’s hymn, “O God of Earth and Altar”. As nobody recorded this, I have searched on YouTube and found this video where the singing is of almost as good, although we did not have a trumpet! (Next year?) We had asked people to pray that it would not rain during Mass, but it did. I announced, after Mass, that this must have been the fault of one of those joining us for the afternoon, as it had hardly rained at all on the six morning pilgrims, and Pat put up his hand, taking responsibility for the change in weather, as he had “not said the Chesterton prayer for it not to rain”.

We left the Convent after a brief bite to eat and walked 20 minutes to the “Black Horse” pub in Fulmer where we could use the bathrooms and have a quick drink. Social distancing wasn’t really much of a problem, as people tended to walk in family groups and spread out quite naturally, with those walking slowest falling towards the back. In fact we have been ahead of the game on this one for years now! As always, we’d like to thank Ken for driving the support mini-bus which rescued at least two families who had been inadvertently left behind at the pub. And more Rosaries were said. In total 40 people walked some or all of the 27 miles. Some in their 70s and some not even in double figures yet.

We made it in record time to GK Chesterton’s Grave, arriving before 7pm. I then rushed Ken and
Clare taking the final photos, so this is my fault. About half of us arrived at GKC’s local pub in small groups, but as none of us had booked, I think the poor women on the door nearly had a heart attack. Despite the pessimist next to me saying, “This’ll go badly” I quietly said a very long, poetical and theologically sound prayer, ‘GKC, it’s your pub, please sort it’, well I had just walked 27 miles! And we were in, spaces multiplied like the loaves and the fishes.

Over £2000 has been raised for the Good Counsel Network from this event, and you can still donate here. You can print off copies of the GK Chesterton prayer card here, or if you live in the UK and you email us your postal address, we will pop you ten in the post.

Now having read all this, you may be wondering about the sign from God. To be honest, there were quite a few. One of the pilgrims who walked the full 27 miles told us in the morning that they had only been Baptised two or three years ago “after reading ‘Orthodoxy’ by GK Chesterton”. But this was not the sign I meant. I can assure you that I paid little or no attention to the names or numbers on the hundreds or thousands of houses that we passed along the way. But as I paused when we leaving Fulmer, I did see this sign and took the photo.

If all goes to plan the 11th Annual GK Chesterton Walking Pilgrimage will be on Saturday 24th July 2021. 

“Sometimes I went down to Beaconsfield, and I was conscious how far he had
grown away from me. He was spiritualized. The old jollity, the old friendliness remained, the old large humanity. But he was a shade more remote. He had a little the air, which some poets and all saints have always, of listening to something fine that you do not hear. Even when I became a Catholic I was conscious that he had something that I did not share with him.” WR Titterton Friend and first biographer of GKC

Friday, 10 July 2020

The 10th Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage Will Take Place

The 10th Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage will take place on Saturday 25th July, in spite of Covid-19. There are several ways you can join us, either in prayer, or by joining us in walking a short section of the pilgrimage or even in walking the whole 27 miles! To be involved and maybe help members of your Family into the Catholic Church you can;

A. Send prayer intentions for us to pray for along the way, we will not make the intentions public;

B. Join us on the day of the Pilgrimage, Saturday 25th July, for a Low Old Rite Mass, 2.30pm at The Grotto Altar outside The Bridgettine Convent, Fulmer Common Road, Iver, SL0 0NR, email us if you need a lift from West Drayton or Uxbridge to get to the Convent. BRING A PACKED LUNCH.

C. And if you like you can walk 6 miles after Mass to GK Chesterton's Grave. If you leave your car at the Convent the minibus can take you back for it at the end of the day.

D. Or meet us at 9.15am outside Ealing Town Hall to walk on to Mass (approximately 12 miles).

E. Or, to do the whole 27 mile walk, meet us at 7.30am outside St George's C of E Church, Aubrey Walk, London, W8 7JG where GKC was Baptised as a baby, to walk 21 Miles to Mass. And 6 miles after Mass if you want.
The minibus will drop Pilgrims back to Uxbridge Station, after popping to GKC's pub after the prayer at the graveside.

F. And say the GK Chesterton Prayer on the day wherever you are. Find the prayer in a number of languages here;

G. Invite friends to join us. The best way to do this is to click, Going or Interested/Maybe on this Facebook event and them click on Share and on Invite Friends and select those you wish to invite to join us for any of the above.

H. Sponsor Stuart as he raises funds for Good Counsel;

Social distancing will take place. Follow on Twitter @CatholicGKCSoc