Monday, 11 June 2012

A Good Counsel about walking

The unfailingly good humoured Stuart McCullough of The Good Council Network sent me the following missive which is worthy of his well-chosen patron G. K. Chesterton. He is going to undertake a pilgrimage on 14th June along the following lines ...

Dear Ches,

We're off! Well at least Fr Nicholas Schofield and myself are. After last year's Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage, some idiot (yes it was me) announced that next year we will be walking to Beaconsfield from Campden Hill, Kensington, London (where GKC was born & Baptised). Now I've looked it up, only 23 miles in a straight line! Training got underway one day in January, and ended the same day...

Some people have, rather rudely, laughed at the idea of me walking 25 ish miles in a day! Ha! If we round-down my age to the nearest twenty-something, I'm only 29! Okay, I'll be 45 in October.


"For what? Oh, 'weight'!" I jumped on the scales - a bit over 12 stone (169lb), but not too bad. Then my Wife said, "Put both feet on the scales". Wow! Who would have thought that my other foot would weigh five stone (70lb)!

At the moment, The Good Counsel Network has no money, so I will do this as a sponsored walk. Good Counsel is having trouble supporting a number of mothers who have chosen to keep their babies and not to abort them.

You can post donations, payable to; The Guild of Our Lady of Good Counsel, P.O. Box 46679, London, England, NW9 8ZT.

Uxbridge parish seems to be about half way between Kensington and Beaconsfield. Fr Nicholas Schofield, the Parish Priest, is happy for us to have an Old Rite Mass in his parish at 1pm on the day for those of us who have walked from Kensington that morning, but all are more than welcome to join us for the Mass. If we find one or two people who can sing, it will be a Missa Cantata. The Church is Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael, Osborn Rd, Uxbridge, UB8 1UE. After Mass, and a quick cup of tea, Fr Nicholas Schofield will then walk on to Beaconsfield with us. I say with "us" but no-one has confirmed that they are coming yet. Please do confirm this.

Upon arrival in Beaconsfield, we will go to G.K. Chesterton's graveside and recite the prayer for his beatification. We will then walk on to St Teresa's Catholic Church, 40 Warwick Road Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire HP9 2PL where we will have a low Old Rite Mass at 7.30pm, to which you are all cordially invited. Trains to Beaconsfield run regularly from Marylebone Station, so if you are unable to join us for the walk, please join us for Mass.

The day will start at about 8am ("when Stuart wakes up and realises he has slept through the alarm again" - Wife) at St George's Church of England Church, Aubrey Walk, London, W8 7JG, where GK Chesterton was baptised. Here we will read the first paragraph of Chesterton's Autobiography, say the Chesterton Prayer and then march (stroll slowly) off in the direction of Uxbridge looking for a cafe where we can stop for breakfast.

For regular updates on the day see my Twitter account @Stuart1927 . If you are planning to attend, please let us know and even more so if you can sing at the Missa Cantata in Uxbridge at 1pm.

God bless

Stuart McCullough

Unfortunately, I have immovable work commitments that day, but I encourage anyone who can make it to do so. And if you cannot make it, then send Stuart some money for a cause of the highest order. I heard Stuart's mighty address at the LMS conference on Saturday in London (on the same platform as Fr Z, Fr Finigan, et al.) and what they have been doing for fifteen years is extraordinary.

Give us more notice next year, Stuart!


GOR said...

It is one of my regrets that when I was stationed in the neighborhood many decades ago, I was not aware of the connection between Chesterton and Beaconsfield. My historical awareness went back somewhat further – to Stoke Poges and Thomas Gray. At the time I had a dim view of Beaconsfield, mainly because the parochial incumbents of the time – one of whom had been a fellow-student in Rome - were very much of the incipient ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ stripe. Deanery conferences at the time were not without controversy…

While Eton and Windsor were a stone’s throw away – and replete with tourists in the summer – Stoke Poges was a retro island in a sea of modernity. The churchyard became a haven for me from the nearby hustle and bustle of Greater Slough and I delighted in the lines of the Elegy harking back to simpler times. It still appeared “far from the madding crowd” – but not very far... Though there was a dearth of “lowing herds” and “moping owls” it was not difficult to visualize them in former times.

Gray’s words were - and still are - a reminder of the fleeting nature of this existence of ours. While we may be embroiled in the issues of the day and consumed by the latest controversy du jour, all this will pass. Ultimately, each will find himself in “his narrow cell forever laid”. But - God willing - “in the bosom of his Father and his God”.

Ches said...

Thank you, GOR. I wonder if you familiar with the following.

Elegy in a Country Churchyard

The men that worked for England
They have their graves at home:
And bees and birds of England
About the cross can roam.

But they that fought for England,
Following a falling star,
Alas, alas for England
They have their graves afar.

And they that rule in England,
In stately conclave met,
Alas, alas for England,
They have no graves as yet.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

GOR said...

No Ches, I was not familiar with this.

In the beginning it had the feel of “In Flanders Fields” or even “The Green Fields of France” but in good Chestertonian fashion GKC brings it home to the Establishment of his day. Were he around today he might bewail the lack of even more graves…