Around 50 people gathered in Bristol Cathedral this morning (9th September) along with Stitches for Survival for the start of the Western part of the Camino to COP. After the important safety briefing (try not to get lost) we lit a candle to mark the start of this sacred journey. We were given a blessing by one of the Canons and we presented them with a banner from Stitches for Survival, who have made banners for all of our hosts.
We then went out into the elements at midday to walk to Frampton Cotterell, our first night’s stop. The weather couldn’t make up its mind, meaning people spent a lot of time trying to figure out the right thing to do with their rain trousers and jackets. We spent a lot of the walk going alongside the river Frome. At one point the path turned into a flood, at which point some brave souls waded through, and some less brave souls took the longer route around!
Eventually we arrived at Zion United Reform Church and as we arrived Stephen the Reverend of the Church who had walked with us blessed our journey. After finally arriving, after all the planning, I felt like crying. It was a beautiful moment. Sometimes walking with a rucksack makes me feel very independent. And sometimes, it just makes me realise how vulnerable I am – how dependent I am on at some point reaching the warm indoors (with its lovely vegan lasagne and chocolate cheesecake). And how dependent I am on the kindness of other people, we’ve been given a lot of kindness by this church.
After our amazing dinner, we gathered with local people to for a discussion on climate change, and what brings us to this walk.
Bring on day two!