Report news now! Text pictures & video to 80360, starting message with WITNESS then leave a space
Minister to walk 300 miles from Kingston to her home
1:12pm Tuesday 1st October 2013 in News
A Kingston Minister is embarking on a very long walk home…all 300 miles to Whitley Bay in North Tyneside.
Reverend Lesley Charlton was inspired to make the pilgrimage to her second home after a conversation with a homeless man at the United Reformed Church, on Eden Street. He told her he’d left home 10 years earlier after an argument with his family, and had been walking ever since.
“I was intrigued by the idea of living without an agenda, and not knowing where I would spend the next night”, Reverend Charlton says. “I wanted to reflect on the experience of people in society who feel vulnerable and marginalised, and the implications for ministry.” The Kingston town centre church regularly hosts and supports a twice-weekly foodbank, and the local interdenominational winter nightshelter. Its foyer is open Monday to Saturday providing a friendly, warm, dry and safe place for a whole range of visitors – the young and old, shoppers, people who work, who are retired; those who live alone, who are homeless …..
Reverend Charlton is currently making the trip as part of a three month sabbatical from her job. She has no fixed route in mind, and no plans to cover a certain number of miles each day. “It’s about the journey” she says, “not the destination”. She will visit churches she passes on the way, and sleep at youth hostels and B&Bs. She plans to spend an hour each day reading, and an hour praying.
The minister has a house in Whitley Bay, which she describes as her ‘spiritual home’. Although she’s been living and working in Kingston for more than a decade, she still retains her Geordie accent, and occasionally even wears her Newcastle United scarf during services.
Every ten years, Ministers in the United Reformed Church are encouraged to take three months away from their usual ministry for recreation, refreshment and study.
Reverend Charlton will return to her church in Kingston in November.
You can follow her progress on https://twitter.com/kurc) on http://kingstonurc.org/, and on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/KingstonUrc).
Based on information supplied by Teresa James (Elder, Kingston United Church).
Comments are closed on this article.