This week has seen our journey along the North Downs Way from Canterbury almost to the western edge of Kent. The weather has been most kind and we have seen wide open daffodils, wall flowers and spring blossom on the blackthorn trees. Orchards, rolling sunlit downland and coppiced sweet chestnut trees have been in abundance, but we have never been away from the noise of people travelling much faster than we are – along the M20, A2 and the Channel Tunnel rail link.
Near Wye, we called in to see the largest collection of apple trees in the country at Perry Court Farm. The farm shop sells a wonderful variety of fresh produce and mouth-watering cakes. Heidi, who owns it along with her husband, kindly told us lots about the business. Further along the chalk scarp we saw the large cross cut into the hillside as a war memorial. There was mud and fallen trees as a result of the previous bad weather, but nothing that stopped us for long.
On reaching Rochester, the Castle and the Cathedral give a historic feel to the approach by the River Medway.
At the cathedral, guide Rosemary gave us much information about the history of the building and, later, at Evensong, Precentor Neil was most welcoming. We heard the all male voice choir (they also have a girls choir) sang unaccompanied and it was quite special.
Leaving Rochester behind we headed west towards London. Our lodgings this week are in Charlton, an area that is very different to rural Kent. We joined a lively and enthusiastic congregation at St Luke’s for their morning Sung Eucharist service (complete with incense) and met many of them over coffee afterwards where we received much interest in the walk we are doing and the Christian Aid project in Afghanistan. The church there has a fascinating history stemming from the Middle Ages and some of this is depicted in their Millenium Tapestry.
We have featured this week in Kent Online with photos and an article http://www.kentonline.co.uk/east_kent_mercury/news/yorkshire-couple-trek-600-miles-from-13223/
So thank you to all this week and Hi to:- St Mary’s Sunday tea time at Hastingleigh with its leaders Selina, Elenie, Jacqueline, Dianne, Katie and Jasper, Oscar, Barnaby and Rufus; to Robin and the Evington Players – hope the performances went well; Justine walking her dog near Chillam, Heidi and staff at Perry Court Farm, Danny and Lee working for Eurostar, Rosemary and Neil at Rochester, Kate and Mike litter picking at Borstal (Borstal open spaces!) Mike at the pub in Henley Street, Helen from Meopham, the congregation at St Luke’s Charlton especially Erica, Jessie, Bennett, Mike, Kitty, Jean, Peter, Rita, Alison. Really good to meet you all and thank you for your encouragement
This Week’s Statistics
Amount raised en route this week £71.77
Total offline raised £473.27 Total online raised £225
Miles walked this week 60 Total so far 82 miles
This week’s kissing gates 32
This week’s Scrabble Scores Nancy 2 John 2 Drawn 2
Leek and Potato soup (for St David’s day) 1 bowl
Flasks broken 1 (guess who?)
Special Kent apple crisps 5 bags