It was composed as part of a 30-day virtual pilgrimage last May from Warblington's church of St Thomas Becket to Canterbury cathedral, part of the newly-discovered 'Old Way', where each day's stage was detailed and mapped online with an accompanying contribution from participants. It was arranged by Christians Together in Emsworth.

To be a Pilgrim  -  Camino word pictures 2002/2003


Apprehension, anticipation

The enemy is weight

Adjust the rhythm of your gait to the day-after dayness


Sharing others' stories, unisex dormitories

(Women snore – who knew?)

Early morning starts

Sunrise on cobwebby dew


French limestone plateau, hidden valley,  Conques below

Ethereal organ in hushed evening abbey

What to eat where to sleep not to worry

Cares drop away, there's no hurry to what lies ahead

All will be revealed in time


Another night another hostel

Church next door, priest washes feet

A nightly service as the pilgrims meet


'Bonne route', 'Buen camino, peregrino'

Why do it?

Seeking, thanksgiving, retirement, bereavement, adventure, escape

Solitary walking, sharing, talking


Bread and cheese in a forest glade

Bare essentials, time to think

Quiet churches form a link across the many miles to Compostela


Bread and wine at day's end

Now not strangers but friends, share, care, encourage, console

Brother, sister, feet that blister in the ups and downs

Of hard Asturian hills


Waking to Ave Maria crescendo

Refugio, donativo, ultreia – onwards – to Santiago

Multicoloured ponchos snail-like up wet Galician slope

Tourists complain, pilgrims praise – and hope

To hug the saint at journey's end!