More Schedule: Germany Tuesday, Jun 23 2009 

So, when I left off, it was October 13th, and I was on a coach, pulling into Hamburg. Here then is the next installment: Germany.

October 13th: Pull into Hamburg c. 7.00. Buy a Hamburger and start walking to Buxtehude.
October 14th: Buxtehude –> Heeslingen
October 15th: Heeslingen –> Grasberg
October 16th: Grasberg –> Bremen –> Weyhe
October 17th: Weyhe –> Twistringen. Rest on the Sunday.

October 19th: Twistringen –> Lohne (Oldenburg)
October 20th: Lohne (Oldenburg) –> Neuenkirchen
October 21st: Neuenkirchen –> Osnabrück
October 22nd: Osnabrück –> Ostbevern
October 23rd: Ostbevern –> Munster
October 24th: Munster –> Dülmen. Rest on the Sunday.

October 26th:  Dülmen –> Herten
October 27th: Herten –> Oberhausen
October 28th: Oberhausen –> Mülheim
October 29th: Mülheim –>  Düsseldorf
October 30th: Düsseldorf –> Munchengladbach
October 31st: Munchengladbach –> Hückelhoven.
November 1st: Hückelhoven –> Alsdorf.

November 2nd: Alsdorf –> Niederzier
November 3rd: Niederzier –> Cologne
November 4th: Cologne –> Bonn
November 5th: Bonn –> Sinzig
November 6th: Sinzig –> Glees & Maria Laach Abbey
November 7th: Glees –> Neuwied. Rest on the Sunday.

November 9th: Neuwied –> Montabaur
November 10th: Montabaur –> Limburg an der Lahn
November 11th: Limburg an der Lahn –> Glashütten
November 12th: Glashütten –> Frankfurt
November 13th: Frankfurt –> Mainz
November 14th: Mainz –> Oppenheim. Rest on the Sunday.

November 16th: Oppenheim –> Worms
November 17th: Worms –> Mannheim
November 18th: Mannheim –> Speyer
November 19th: Speyer –> Oberhausen (a different one!)
November 20th: Oberhausen –> Karlsruhe
November 21st: Karlsruhe –> Neuenbürg. Rest on the Sunday.

November 23rd: Neuenbürg –> Calw
November 24th: Calw –> Tübingen
November 25th: Tübingen –> Bad Urach
November 26th: Bad Urach –> Laichingen
November 27th: Laichingen –> Ulm
November 28th: Ulm –> Ichenhausen. Rest on Sunday.

November 30th: Ichenhausen –> Zusmarshausen
December 1st: Zumarshausen –> Augsburg
December 2nd: Augsburg –> Bergkirchen
December 3rd: Bergkirchen –> Munich
December 4th: Munich –> Egling
December 5th: Egling –> Kochel. Rest on the Sunday.

December 7th: Kochel –> Krün
December 8th: From Krün, cross the border into Austria, coming to Scharnitz at the end of the day.

The Charge Tuesday, Jun 16 2009 

Taking a break from blog-worthy Pilgrimage prep, I’d like to reflect briefly on the Charge:

I charge you never to forget the great benefits that you have received in this place, and in time to come according to your means, to do all that you can to enable others to enjoy the same advantage; and remember that you carry with you, wherever you go, the good name of Christ’s Hospital.

May God Almighty bless you in your ways and keep you in the knowledge of his love now and forever.

These are the words that I and the others leaving with me will hear spoken to us by the headmaster on July 4th at about twenty to one, just as hundreds, nay thousands, of Old Blues before us. But what exactly do the words of the charge mean, and how best is it to be enacted?

I charge you never to forget the great benefits that you have received in this place

Fortunately, it is hard for one to forget these benefits. The CHA holds the annual Old Blues’ Day where hundreds of OBs descend on the school to reminisce together. In this way, then, this part of the charge can be interpreted as an invitation not to lose touch with the school – and as we can see from the numbers of Old Blues incumbent as staff, this does not seem to be the case.

and in time to come according to your means, to do all that you can to enable others to enjoy the same advantage;

This is the most well-known section of the charge, often rather cynically summed up as “when you’re rich, give us money”. Certainly the appeal for benefaction is present: the Headmaster reminded us in a recent assembly that each year of education currently costs around £11,000, which he compared to a flashy BMW of some variety. However, the charge does say “and in time to come according to your means“, thus suggesting that other kinds of repayment are acceptable, outside the obvious one – that of monetary remuneration. As said already, many members of staff are Old Blues, and this seems to be one method. Another is Donation Government – agreed, it is fiscal in nature, but here one can directly see its effects. To dismiss the charge, then, as merely “give us money” is a gross understatement.

and remember that you carry with you, wherever you go, the good name of Christ’s Hospital.

This is an interesting concept, and one of which we are often reminded even before we are formally given the Charge – upon going on a school trip, this line is often quoted during the command to be on our best behaviour. Yet even post-CH, many people do actively carry with them the good name of Christ’s Hospital. The OB 1st XI and XV are well known examples, for instance, as are other CH groups like it.

What then is the best response to the Charge? Verse four of the Foundation Hymn seems to sum it up nicely:

Brothers, best with righteous living 
shall our grateful thanks be paid;

This cleverly brings in the last two elements of the charge: that of repaying our debt to the school not by donation but by being an example to others – the example of what it is “the good name of Christ’s Hospital” stands for.

Schedule Friday, Jun 5 2009 

Lock and load, ladies and gentlemen, for here I present my schedule for the UK!

July 31st: The Last Supper
August 1st: Coach to the Lake District

August 2nd: Drive to Kirkby Steven
August 3rd: Begin Coast to Coast path to Durham
August 7th: Arrival Durham
August 8th: Durham –> Hesleden. Rest on the Sunday.

August 10th: Hesleden –> Middlesbrough
August 11th: Depart Middlesbrough; camp on Beacon Hill.
August 12th: Reach Whitby. Spend 13th looking around.
August 14th: Whitby –> Rosedale Abbey.
August 15th: Rosedale Abbey –> Rievaulx Abbey. Camp in the ruins of the abbey.
August 16th: Walk down to Helmsley for the service.

August 17th: Helmsley –> Terrington
August 18th: Terrington –> York. Bit of a slog.
August 19th: York –> Walton. A shorter day to make up for the 18th.
August 20th: Walt0n –> Calverley
August 21st: Calverley –> Heptonstall
August 22nd: Heptonstall –> Clifton. Rest on the Sunday.

August 24th: Clifton –> Wakefield
August 25th:  Wakefield –> Pontefract
August 26th: Pontefract –> Doncaster. At some point in these three days, say hello to all the Wakefield Diocese people from Taizé.
August 27th: Doncaster –> Wheatley
August 28th: Wheatley –> Lincoln. Have a long weekend.

August 31st: Lincoln –> Rauceby
September 1st: Rauceby –> Risegate
September 2nd: Risegate –> Somewhere in the middle of some villages which all begin “Sutton”. 
September 3rd:  Villages –> Upwell
September 4th: Upwell –> Ely
September 5th: Ely –> Cambridge. Rest on the Sunday (and hunt various Cambridge students).

September 7th:  Cambridge –> Dunton
September 8th: Dunton –> Upper Gravenhurst
September 9th: Upper Gravenhurst –> Leighton Buzzard
September 10th: Leighton Buzzard –> Ashendon
September 11th: Ashendon –> Oxford. Spend the Saturday resting, exploring the area, hunting Oxford students and drinking a pint in the Eagle and Child whilst reading some Tolkien and Lewis. 
September 13th: Go to church, then go to Thame.

September 14th: Thame –> The Lee
September 15th: The Lee –> Hemel Hempstead
September 16th: Hemel Hempstead –> St. Albans
September 17th: St. Albans –> Elstree.
September 18th: Elstree –> London. St. Matthew’s Day! Use public transport as M1 & North Circular decidedly pedestrian-unfriendly. Spend entire weekend resting and exploring London.

September 21st: London –> Reigate. Again, use public transport to clear London, then walk once in the open.
September 22nd: Reigate –> Guildford. World Tolkien Reading Day.
September 23rd: Guildford –> Haslemere
September 24th: Haslemere –> Petersfield
September 25th: Petersfield –> Havant. Rest at home of the Saturday.
September 27th: Havant –> Chichester
September 28th: Chichester –> Amberley
September 29th: At Amberley, pick up South Downs Way. Walk east until it meets the Downs Link and camp for the night.
September 30th: Follow the Downs Link to CH. Go to Notices! Rest at CH the Thursday.
October 2nd: CH –> Crawley
October 3rd: Crawley –> Royal Tunbridge Wells. Rest for the Sunday.

October  5th: Royal Tunbridge Wells –> Maidstone
October 6th: Maidstone –> Ashford
October 7th: Ashford –> Canterbury
October 8th: Canterbury –> Sittingbourne
October 9th: Sittingbourne –> Rochester
October 10th: Rochester –> Dartford
October 11th: (Yes, on a Sunday!) Dartford –> London
October 12th: Take coach to Hamburg, departing London 14.30, arriving Hamburg on the 13th at 7.00.

So what’s this all about? Thursday, Jun 4 2009 

Who would true valour see,
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.

Whoso beset him round
With dismal stories
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright,
He’ll with a giant fight,
He will have a right
To be a pilgrim.

Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit,
He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit.
Then fancies fly away,
He’ll fear not what men say,
He’ll labor night and day
To be a pilgrim.

 

Powerful words, no? And they describe my circumstances very nicely indeed. This hymn is taken from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, and discusses the plight of a pilgrim. Interestingly enough, though this is the original text from Pilgrim’s Progress, more normally an altered set of words are sung. The third verse in the altered version runs thus:

 

Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labor night and day to be a pilgrim.

 

This, then, is the main thrust of my pilgrimage, and why I’m not running with a tour operator or suchlike: I am doing this under mine and God’s steam alone – come rain or shine. Several people have said that I’m not going to make it, that I won’t even get to York – we’ll see 😉

 

A Blog! Wednesday, Jun 3 2009 

Yes, I have a blog for this whole Pilgrimage doo-dah. How useful.

Except I’ve not left yet. So what do I have to say?

Well, preparation’s happening! Lots of it, in fact.

As you know, I’m looking for lots of places to stay, and an obvious place to go seems to me to be the church in all its myriad forms. So, how am I doing it? I have three main weapons in my arsenal:

– Google Earth, which holds my route and displays details of some (but by no means all) churches.
http://www.achurchnearyou.com – listing all the Anglican churches in the country (or at least those with details listed). Some of these list details of clergy, and some even have contact details, but a lot of them do not. Enter item #3:
– Crockford’s Clerical Directory: This mighty tome, about 4cm thick and A5, costs £42 to buy but has been lent to me by Father Ian, who has been and still is a massive help with this endeavour.

So far, I’ve emailed as far as Hemel Hempstead (about a month and a half’s journeying), and there’s a lot more to do before I’m all the way there!

If I’m honest, I’ll only be able to do this all for the UK – once I get onto the continent it’ll get much more tricky. However, the thing about Germany is that it’s so hospitable – people are more willing to take you in there. So that’s ok – especially with the village community, and every village has a church etc etc.

Italy will be…interesting, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.