Staff from the North West Office of Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need in the UK are walking to five cathedrals to raise awareness and funds for Iraqi Christians.
Caroline Hull and Bridget Huddleston have completed walks from Lancaster Cathedral to Salford Cathedral and from Salford to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
Next on their list is the 30-mile trek from Liverpool to Wrexham Cathedral which is set to take place in early July.
The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon, Archbishop of Liverpool, will bless the pair before they set off from Liverpool, and stops will include St Mary of the Angels, Hooton and the Poor Clare community in Hawarden, Flintshire.
“We are excited about the next leg of our journey through the North West”, said Caroline, ACN’s NW Manager.
“ACN is playing a huge role to support Iraq’s Christians as they return to rebuild their lives on the Nineveh Plain, and Bridget and I were moved to take on this challenge to support our brothers and sisters in Iraq.”
The walkers carry a ‘pilgrim passport’ with them and a priest signs them in and out at each stop along the way.
Bishops and parish priests throughout the region have offered their support through blessings, hospitality, and publicity.
Two bishops, Bishop John Arnold of Salford and Bishop Peter Brignall of Wrexham, have even found time to walk a few miles alongside Caroline and Bridget to show their solidarity with Iraq’s Christians.
Generous benefactors from all over the UK have sponsored the walks, and the two walkers are extremely grateful for donations of any size.
Bridget said: “Any amount—large or small—will help to ensure a brighter future for these ancient communities of Christians. We are committed to helping them to return to the places where their families have lived and worshipped for generations.”
The final ACN Cathedral Walk for Iraq will take place on September 14-15 and will follow a route from Wrexham to Shrewsbury Cathedral via Ellesmere in Shropshire.
Caroline added “Our walks have challenged us in many ways, but whenever our spirits flag due to sore feet or hot weather, we remember how lucky we are not to be fleeing for our lives carrying babies and dragging suitcases.
“Unlike so many of Iraq’s displaced Christians, we know where we are headed and that a cup of tea and a warm welcome await us.”