Monday, 28 March 2016


I like long distance footpaths. Pick any modern Ordnance Survey map, and you'll find it criss-crossed by way-marked routes celebrating lovely parts of the country, or good causes, or famous people. I've walked a big circle round Greater London on the London Loop several times, followed rivers on their journeys to the sea on the Thames Path and the Nene Way, matched my steps to those of notional Saxons on the Jurassic Way and the Ridgeway, and discovered bits of a close-by county that I never knew existed through the Hertfordshire Way. These are all paths for walking 'softies' and I'm quite happy with that. Personally I like the mixture of countryside (often endangered green space) and built environment. But there's a drawback. The way I do it, on occasional days when I aim to cover only between ten and fifteen miles at most, half the day's sometimes gone by the time I've organised my transport so that I don't have to go halfway to somewhere and then re-trace my steps. So, I thought, another local long-distance path would be a Very Good Idea: perhaps I could construct my own? So a plan with a purpose started to form. Why not walk from my own church in Weston Favell, Northampton to the mother church, the Cathedral in Peterborough, but dropping in on every church in the diocese between the two - about four hundred in all? Well, that's it in a nutshell. How long will it take? I can't say. Weather and natural indolence may conspire to make it the work of several years. The aim is part physical exercise, part pilgrimage. If you're reading this, the chances are that you may have got here because I left a calling card at one church or another. As I go, I'll do my best to keep a journal of what's happened and where I've been. Now where are my boots and stick?