After Easter, Peter Lyon from our congregation will be embarking on a short walk - from Land's End to John o'Groats (!) to raise money for homelessness charity St Mungo's. Peter writes:
As some of you know, I am not going to be around at St Giles for a few months as I will be embarking on an expedition to walk from Land's End to John O'Groats. I developed a passion for hiking through Scouts and, when I had some free time between graduating and starting my current job, I walked my first National Trail (the 270-mile Pennine Way). Along that Trail, I found myself walking for a few days with a truly inspirational woman who was walking from Land's End to John O'Groats for the second time (and the Pennine Way for the fourth time!). When we parted ways in North Yorkshire, she even found time for a diversion (by a friend's car) to the Iona Community for a week of worship. I then knew that when the opportunity arose I wanted to attempt this end-to-end challenge myself.
I will walk approximately 1,150 miles south to north, mainly on established trails, and camping most nights. I know from experience that a long distance hike is as much a mental effort as a physical one. There is also a significant spiritual dimension: feeling a connection with the beauty of God's nature; knowing one's inner strength to persevere despite the challenges; and finding the peace of God through solitude and stepping away from the usual rhythm of city life. It will not be a traditional pilgrimage (though I expect to make use of many a village church as a place of shelter - and even tea and coffee) but I hope to achieve some sense of what it is like to be a pilgrim. I will be raising money for St Mungo's important work to tackle homelessness in London, and I will be providing occasional updates on my progress on the JustGiving page.