On the Wednesday after Easter, a group of staff, parents, grandparents and friends of Woldingham met up very early at Gatwick Airport at the start of a pilgrimage to walk 140 kilometres, from Sarria to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, in north west Spain.
When we met up as a group, most of us were strangers, but as we started out on our long walk, and travelled through quaint and charming towns along the famous trail, we became firm friends who walked, talked and shared our life stories together in a spirit of joy, laughter and love.
As we followed the yellow arrows each day, it was uplifting to see everyone walking as one, even though many were suffering from blisters, wounds and sprains! We were all there for one another and walking the Camino Way has given us the privilege of meeting true companions who helped and encouraged one another in the rain and the sunshine.
When we celebrated our final Mass together, we ended with the words of the elderly man speaking to a young pilgrim, which offered us great encouragement as we prepared to leave; ‘If you truly wish to be an authentic pilgrim, return to your home and family, your neighbours and your friends and listen to them, forgive them and love them. Then you will be a true pilgrim’.
I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to come along and walk the Camino Way. It was a spiritual and inspiring week and I know that everyone in the group felt uplifted and returned home with their own happy memories of the special time we spent together.
Fr Gerry Devlin, Chaplain