Now that’s what I call a pilgrimage!
In 2013, a young member of St John’s, Boxmoor, walked the Camino Santiago de Compostela from Puys en Velay in France to Santiago, some 1600 km. It wasn’t long enough for her (!), so this year Amélie Lecoueche is planning to walk from Canterbury to Rome, along the Via Francigena, another pilgrim route. She is looking for companions: while she will walk all 2000 km of it, they don’t have to and can join for two-week stints. It will take from June to late August, at which point Amelie hopes to start her first job after finishing a degree in chemical engineering.
“My last pilgrimage was definitely a huge moment of maturation and spiritual growth. I was exposed to people who had chosen a huge variety of paths in life. I learnt to accept myself more: who am I exactly, and to be comfortable with that, flaws and all. I also learned how to reach out to others – and appreciated how building bridges across language barriers and differences in experiences can be very enriching. As pilgrims we constantly helped and supported one another with advice and encouragement, as well as sharing meals and stories. I hope that this next pilgrimage will allow me to reconnect with the basic things in life: appreciating that all you need to be happy is love, a place to sleep and dry socks! It is amazing to not have any fear of what is coming tomorrow. I hope that by removing all of my usual daily distractions I will be able to reflect on more important and more spiritual things.”
Amélie can be contacted on AmelietoRome@outlook.com
Behind the scenes of Alban, Britain’s First Saint
The Alban, Britain’s First Saint project at St Albans Cathedral has begun with the ground being broken for an archaeological dig on the site of the new welcome centre.
With the first stage of the dig completed, not too many outward signs are visible, but behind the scenes there’s continual activity, driving forward this transformational project.
The dig has made some interesting initial discoveries about what is currently known as the Monk’s Graveyard, but which we now learn is a parishioners’ burial place dating back to about 1550. There will be a further dig to find what remains of a far earlier building on the site. Needless to say, the burials will be disturbed as little as possible.
You can follow the progress of the project blog: albanbritainsfirstsaint.wordpress.com where there is an interview with Professor Martin Biddle, Cathedral Archaeologist, about the dig.