By Rev Trudy Oliver

22 students from Saint George ’s C of E School, two teachers and the Saint George’s Chaplain took part in a pilgrimage from Rochester cathedral to Canterbury cathedral over 3 days (28 - 30 June.) The journey was over 40 miles long and students taking part were aged between 11 and 14 years old.

We left Rochester cathedral after a blessing by Bishops Chaplain Lindsay Lwelleyn-Mcduff at 9am on Sunday morning.  This was the longest and hardest day, we walked until 6pm before camping for the night.   Students and staff prepared the evening meal together and then enjoyed discussions around a camp fire. It was a great privilege to journey with such a wonderful group of students, and to engage in conversations about God with them, all of which were initiated by the students themselves.

The following day (Monday) the weather started getting warmer.  The distance was less and we arrived at our camp for the evening where we all played rounders, had a well-deserved water fight before reflecting on the past 2 days.

The final day (Tuesday) was tough due to the soaring temperatures.  The shade of Kings Wood was a welcome reprieve from the sun and the breeze provided by walking alongside the river as we came into Canterbury helped to keep us cool. The excitement as we first caught a glimpse of the Cathedral was immense!

We arrived at Canterbury Cathedral just before 4.15pm where we were greeted by Canon Clare with tea and pilgrim’s bread. (Some of us even caught a glimpse of Sir Terry Wogan!) We had a short tour of the cathedral, Clare showed us where Thomas Becket was murdered, before taking us into the crypt for prayers and a blessing.  After all this excitement, we wearily made our way back to the mini bus and home to Gravesend.

We aimed to raise in excess of £1000 for our 4 Community charities (Make a wish, Cancer Research, Battersea dog and cat home and Gravesend Parents’ consortium).  The pilgrims also wish to make a donation to the Ruby Young appeal (a local toddler suffering with neuroblastoma)

It was a long way, and a huge challenge for everyone who took part, but I for one can’t wait to do it again next year!


Copyright 2015 © The Diocese of Rochester. Registered Office: St Nicholas’ Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1SL. Registered Charity No. 249339 The Rochester Diocesan Society and Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 140656