The armchair pilgrim

On my bookshelves there are several well leafed copies of books about the Camino. Beautiful descriptions of churches abound alongside tales of spiritual discovery as pilgrims make their way to the great shrine of St James. From the comfort of my arm chair I have even followed friends as they made the Camino and wondered at their stamina. Imagine my delight when the BBC decided to show a reality programme about walking the Camino. I was thrilled and to put it bluntly I am with Revd Kate Bottley (one of two Christian walkers in the group) when she says the hiking bit is ‘out of her comfort zone’, I am also with her when she says of the spiritual side of the pilgrimage; ‘bring it on’. This is no day pilgrimage to Walsingham with a jolly stop at Bishop’s Stortford for a bacon roll, the Camino is about endurance – both physical and spiritual. I would recommend watching ‘Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago’ on iPlayer if only for the interaction between the avowedly atheist members of the group and the two Christians. Of the other pilgrims Debbie McGee, last seen strutting her stuff on Strictly, wants to find out if there is ‘anything there’, and Raphael Rowe won’t even step foot in a church because he believes ‘religion is the root of all evil’. Whether this is entertaining television or wicked voyeurism is hard to tell, to be honest I was hooked the moment Bottley and Rowe got into conversation. The Camino converts and it seems to me the seeds have been sown and just perhaps hearts have been changed. If anything the programme convinced me I need to leave the comfort of my armchair and get walking because along the way one might just encounter Christ.

Bunyan

2018-10-23T12:29:30+00:00 April 2018 Articles|