The streets of Preston were packed as thousands gathered to celebrate their faith and the historic Preston Guild with a procession of all the local churches.
Under sunny skies, more than 5,100 people from a range of Christian denominations joined together for the parade into the heart of the city and CAFOD Lancaster was proud to be part of this vibrant witness of faith.
With the theme of ‘The Good Shepherd’ the parish of Our Lady and St Edward’s in Fulwood chose CAFOD as a way of reflecting the care shown by the good shepherd for his flock. 50 parishioners, young and old, walked side by side with CAFOD flags, banners, balloons and placards.
The ‘walking float’ was organised by Cath Noblet, a member of the parish’s CAFOD group “It was a great team effort and a way of marking our support for CAFOD and the work it does on our behalf overseas. It was brilliant to hear the warm applause and cheers through the procession.”
Patrick Gardner, CAFOD Diocesan Officer, who walked as a marshall alongside the parish said “What an atmosphere! It was a privilege to walk alongside Our Lady & St Edward’s – they brought CAFOD’s vision, mission and values to life before a vast audience. They were brilliant.”
A grandstand opposite the Harris Museum was packed out and 27,000 wellwishers lined city centre streets to clap, cheer and sing along as 90 groups and 11 bands wound their way past the Flag Market.
“This is faith in action, actively showing that a compassionate and robust response to poverty and injustice overseas is possible,” remarked Rosa Trelfa of CAFOD Lancaster.
“Not only did we walk with these wonderfully committed parishioners but also in solidarity with all those who face indescribable hardships every day overseas. We respond with action and prayer.”
“The parishioners of Our Lady & St Edward’s were so impressive, we’ve invited them all back in 2032 when the next Preston Guild takes place! Our sincere thanks to all the walkers.”
It was a memorable day when we were rightly proud to be part of this generous and big-hearted city.