If I was going to write about my own relationship with religion and God, it would be a twenty part spectacular. Let’s just agree that it is complicated. This week is Holy Week in the Christian calendar, and I always find myself spending the week reflecting on my own life. I think that this comes back to something I spent doing for over a decade. This thing is called Student Cross.
Student Cross is a pilgrimage that takes place over Holy Week where groups of young people converge on the English National Shrine at Walsingham to celebrate the Easter services. There are a number of different groups which meet up the Friday before Palm Sunday and spend a week walking with a cross as a sign of witness.
A one paragraph explanation makes it sound rather more devout than it actually is. I would jokingly refer to it as a one hundred and forty mile pub crawl. Well, you do have to support the local community that you walk through. Yes, there are daily services, and yes, you are carrying a ten foot cross, so it is rather religious. But to me, it was mostly about the people I met along the way, and the people that you walked with.
I’ve met a large group of my friends on Student Cross. I don’t care to think how many close conversations I’ve had with people either on the road, or at far too early in the morning while everyone around me is asleep. I’m generally a private person, but it was one of the few places that I ever felt comfortable enough to expose myself.
I haven’t walked it for a while as I just can’t physically do it any more. I know that some just go up to Walsingham for the weekend, but that isn’t me. I would feel uncomfortable as most of the bonds you have with people is from walking with them. So, these days I keep myself away.
I still generally take Holy Week off work though. It gives me a good excuse to try and catch up with myself. Things have been hectic recently. Hence the trickle in posts. So, I’m spending this week writing and doing other stuff. It is a good opportunity to figure out where I am at this moment in my life.
I doubt that anyone I know who is walking this year will be reading this. I just want you to know that even though I am not there, I am thinking about you this week. May your journey be safe, the weather dry, and your feet blister free.