Group leader: Carole Vose

For contact details, email the office.

The Wessex CSJ group last met on Monday 16th March, just before the virus lockdown began. Since then, our planned events have had to take a back seat. However, some of us did manage to attend Evensong, in Salisbury Cathedral, on St. James' day. The service was held in the Trinity Chapel, behind the altar. It was quite sad to see the nave empty of pews and chairs, and no one around. Just 10 people attended the service, of which 7 were from our group.

Following the service, we decided we should meet up again, just to keep in contact. With that, on Wednesday, 12th August, on a very hot day, 4 of us walked from Salisbury railway station, to Churchfields trading estate, which borders the River Nadder. There is a very pleasant walk alongside this stretch of water, and you wouldn't realise that there's a busy life going on behind the bushes and fences, apart from hearing the occasional lorry, or mechanical noises! From there, we entered the village of Bemerton m and there is a walk across the water meadows, known locally as Broken Bridges, as the river splits and divides into several streams. A very short picnic was held at a convenient spot before we were attacked by insects! From there we continued to the village of Harnham. A short walk along the road brought us to the Old Mill, from where John Constable painted the famous picture of Salisbury Cathedral. This location is a popular spot for children to play in the shallow water, or jump into the deeper parts of the river. The large garden of the Old Mill is well laid out with picnic tables so we thought it appropriate to enjoy a drink and have snacks (at half price!).

From the Old Mill, once suitably refreshed, we continued along a path, known as the Town Path, which leads into Queen Elizabeth Gardens, quite near the cathedral. Within the cathedral grounds we met up with another three people for our group, in the garden of Salisbury Museum, where we enjoyed drinks and ice creams.

Perhaps this walk has nothing to do with St. James but just having a bond with fellow members made for a lovely day out.

Our next planned outing is on Thursday, 15th October, when Peter FitzGerald will be taking our group around the sites of old churches and an original hospital, in Chichester. Most of us will travel by train to arrive in Chichester by 11am. Anyone who would like to join us, is more than welcome.