10 Days in May
May 1 : Féile na Bealtaine (May Festival) in this year of Covid was marked, not by a weekend of festivals, but a solitary drive to St James’ Church, Durrus in the most westerly Parish in the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross to commence the Walk4Burundi in each union and group of parishes in the Diocese.
It’s impossible to walk through West Cork without climbing heights to view the beautiful scenery and not surprisingly Canon Paul Willoughby brought us on a gentle? incline to take in the beauty of Dunmanus Bay.
In the afternoon, and doubling up as Priest in Charge of Kilmoe Union, the Canon brought me through the scenic route over Mount Gabriel to complete our second walk in Schull.
May 2 : Sunday May 2nd was marked by Christian Aid service on RTÉ and a phone call from a friend who was outside the Church in Durrus having mistaken the date!
May 4 : Back to West Cork, on this occasion to St Matthew’s Church Aghadown (Achad an Dúin/Field of the Fort) in the Ballydehob Union of Parishes, to be greeted by the Rev Steve McCann. A leisurely walk followed on the banks of the Ilen River famous as the base for for the Olympic and World Champion O‘Donovan brothers and thena picnic near the ancient graveyard which contains the graves of both a close aide to William of Orange and a member of the Anti Treaty forces during the Irish Civil War(Cogadh an gCarad /War of Friends).
This left me late for my next appointment with the Rev John Ardis in Baltimore. There is a famous whitewashed beacon guarding the entrance to Baltimore Harbour and ,not surprisingly, John chose it as the destination of our walk.
May 5: Zoom interview with the Rev Cliff Jeffers to advertise the walk in Fanlobbus Union on 15th May featured on this day. As well as being a natural interviewer Cliff has a great ability to enliven an interview with pictures and sketches. Perhaps in this age Ephesians 4 needs to get an addition after “teachers “ to cover Cliff’s expertise in I.T.
May 6 : Back (again) to West Cork, on this occasion to be greeted by the Dean of Ross , the Very Rev. Chris Peters. Andrew Coleman from Christian Aid (and the master mind behind this project ) accompanied us on a brisk walk. We had a lovely walk to the pier and back. Slight surprise that -when in sight of Rosscarbery on the return trip– we took another gentle(?) incline to allow us to see the town from a greater height. I appreciated a much needed refreshment in the Deanery Garden.
In the afternoon the Rev Kingsley Sutton had planned a route, thankfully on the flat, as we walked through the historical town of Clonakilty Cloich na Coillte/Stone of the Woods). Kingsley pointed out the original stone in the centre of town so one can learn something new every day. Our more formal picture, however, was taken where there is a commemoration of the massacre in Tiananmen Square .
May 7-9: Having walked 30 Km and travelled over 500 Km this septuagenarian was beginning to feel the pressure and needed the weekend for some R and R .
May 10 : Having just avoided a major catastrophe by putting 0.7 litre of Unleaded petrol into a Diesel car I headed off to Bandon to walk behind three fit people , a Reader,(Andrew Coleman), a Chaplain (the Rev Anne Skuse) and a Canon (Denis MacCarthy).
On this occasion nature wrought its revenge by opening the heavens and reminded us that we had no right to expect sunny days. A change of clothes and a cup of tea after the walk was most welcome .
The good news is that amidst all of the above we have raised €2,643 or 53% of our target .