This week marks the ‘hinge’ point in our walk. Not only have we ceased to walk with a westerly direction, but we have also passed our halfway point. Monday saw us beginning at the pretty Cotswold village of Winchcombe and then coming down from the high ridge of the Cotswolds into the much flatter land next to the River Severn. Our first major town was Tewkesbury, which had mercifully dried out from the floods earlier this year. Tewkesbury is at the confluence of the River Severn and the Avon. It has the highest density of ancient buildings in England and, of course, a splendid Abbey. We joined the regular congregation, the celebrant Wendy and their vicar Paul in early communion, which was quiet and very meditative. The congregation were very supportive of our walk.
The River Severn was to be our constant companion for the rest of the week and indeed into the following week. As we walked along its banks we saw jetsam piled up against fences and kissing gates – but the river itself was serene. We passed through Upton with it’s ‘pepperpot’ tower, Stourport with its canal basin, Highley and its historic railway station, Bridgnorth with its steep climb to the upper town and bustling Saturday market. All had momentos of their past and a sense of making the most of their present.
In Worcester we joined the regular congregation at Evening Prayer and also called in at the Worcester Journal. They were most pleased and helpful to see us. Thank you receptionists Jo and Sarah. Their photographer (Nick) took our picture by the side of the River Severn, which marked our halfway point on the walk. Their journalist James interviewed and said he thought the article would appear in the issue on Monday. Halfway at Worcester. Many supportive people stopped to chat with us on our way (– some despite a cold easterly wind). So hello and thank you David in Winchcombe; the unknown driver in Tewkesbury who gave us a donation as he waited at traffic lights, to Sr Fran from Tewkesbury hospital; Anne in high Street Tewkesbury; the congregation at Tewkesbury Abbey mid-week communion Paul (the vicar), Wendy (celebrant) Davids (X3), Francis, Sue, Tim, Philippa, Barbara and Claire (the administrator); John, Mavis and Sarah visiting Upton church in search of ancestors; the ladies in the Upton hospice shop (do you have pens yet?); Don and his dog from Kempsey; Barbara and her grandaughter enjoying an extra day off school in Kempsey; Jen and Charlie (who followed us through the mud on the river path in Worcester); the very warm welcomers at Worcester cathedral, Colin and Carol (vergers) Patricia (chaplain, Dean Peter Atkinson, new Precentor Michael, Roy in the congregation and Alison and Ruth who turned up specially to support us; Trevor and Justine and Arnie the dog in Highley, who warned us that the local buses were unreliable; Peter and Sally and Grahame and Jannie all four met on the Severn Way; James doing 10 Challenges for MIND and Tamlyn, very helpful at Bridgnorth TIC.
Today we have had a very warm welcome at Shrewsbury Abbey as we joined them in their Mothering Sunday worship. Thank you vicar Paul, Assistant priest Stephanie, and all the congregation and especially Wendy and Roger who are feeding us tonight!
This week’s statistics
Money raised so far Online: £620.00 Offline: £1334.69 Total: £1954.69
Miles walked this week: 55 Total so far: 329
Kissing gates: 49
This week’s Scrabble Scores: Nancy 1 John 2