Camino de Santiago

Pilgrimage as both outer and inner journey, and metaphor for life, is the emphasis of some members of St Paul's Anglican Church are walking the Camino de Santiago in May 2007.

Our Camino Pilgrims are walking the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago in Spain (800kms) so we walk with them on our Journey through the Season of Easter and the Mysterious Life of the Resurrection

Our Pilgrims:

Christabel , Kim, Chris, Robin and Bethan, Wendy, Janice, Betsy, Jules, Jillian, Heather, John and Elaine, Stephen, Michael, Dorothea and Stephen, Wendy and Fliss

We are Companions – Bread sharers

See Prayers for Pilgrims

Each year, thousands of people from all over the world walk the Camino de Santiago across Spain to Santiago de Compostela. The Camino was one of the three great pilgrimages of mediaeval Europe, after Rome and Jerusalem. Believed to be along the route of an earlier Celtic pilgrimage, the Camino's Christian origins are related to the Apostle St. James ("Santiago" in Spanish). Santiago Cathedral is said to be the resting place of the bones of St James the Great, one of the fisher brothers James and John who responded to Jesus' call and immediately left their nets (Mark 1.19).

Medieval Christian practice emphasised the cults of saints, veneration of their relics and salvation through a difficult journey. The late 20th century revival of interest in the Camino de Santiago appears to be based on the search for personal and spiritual meaning in a secular and materialistic age. Pilgrimage is an opportunity to take time out from modern life and reflect, perhaps on a symbolic turning point such as a birthday, retirement or recovery from major illness. Many pilgrims find the Camino transformational, including some who start as spiritual or cultural tourists. However, numbers of people undertaking the Camino Francaise (the major route) are growing exponentially and motivations vary widely. Likewise, information available on the practicalities of pilgrimage is vast such that undertaking the Camino is no more difficult than the average overseas holiday. One may wish to go with a group but it is not difficult to walk alone and there are sound spiritual reasons for doing so. Pilgrimage as both outer and inner journey, and metaphor for life, is the emphasis of some members of St Paul's Anglican Church, Beaconsfield who intend to walk the Camino de Santiago in May 2007.

Further reading: Joyce Rupp; Walk in a Relaxed Manner 2005 (Orbis Books) Maryknoll, New York Available from St John's Books, Fremantle

by Chris Williams