Paul Bradley is a CAFOD supporter from Poulton le Fylde. Paul is a member of the long standing parish Faith & Justice Group. He is driven by his faith for social justice issues. He is a fantastic CAFOD supporter. Paul is a volunteer in the parish CAFOD group. Here, Paul tells us about his experience on the St John’s annual CAFOD walk.
Around two o’clock on Sunday the 17th April some 30 or so parishioners from St. John’s, Poulton le Fylde, Fr. John Walsh (and his trusty dog Oscar) together with a dozen or so children from St. John’s Catholic Primary School Poulton, travelled the short distance to Stanah (Thornton Cleveleys) to take part in our, more or less annual, CAFOD walk.
It was a glorious day, the best so far this year, as we arrived at Wyre Country Park adjacent to the River Wyre. The sun shone brightly from an azure sky, and the verdant grasslands bloomed, as harbingers of spring, and contrasted beautifully with the bluebells and other newly budded spring flowers as we set off, close to the river, on our walk to Skipool Creek and subsequent return to our point of departure.
As we progressed over numerous stiles, across the fields and down several paths, on which, to the children’s joy, there was still an abundance of muddy puddles, in which they delightedly jumped up and down – to the doubtless dismay of their parents – we were all able to chat and joke with each other and reflect on the fact that we were so fortunate to enjoy the beauty of God’s kingdom in the company of our fellow parishioners, our friends, and their children.
During the walk our leader, Peter Embery, a great local historian, told us of the days, – and showed us the places where – over a hundred years ago, ocean going boats docked on the river and discharged their cargo, and where smugglers brought onto dry land their contraband.
We viewed the yachts at Skipool Creek, some resplendent and pristine in appearance, and others, which, like one or two of us, had seen better days.
We completed our walk after a couple of hours, and many of us made our way to the country park Cafe for a coffee and ice cream.
Relaxing, we were able to reflect once more on how fortunate we all are, on the amazing humanitarian actions of Pope Francis the previous day, of our need to emulate his behaviour in caring for our fellow human beings, and caring for our common home and, especially those who are most disadvantaged, to enjoy the warmth of our families and friends and to be humbled by their goodness.
Our sponsors have been generous, we have raised around £800 for CAFOD.
A brilliant afternoon for all of us and in great contrast to our previous two walks during which we were, amongst other events, buffeted by a howling gale, soaked by torrential rain, and chased by very angry cows!! – Deo Gratias.
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