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Burnley and Padiham folk walk the world for refugees

The Burnley and Padiham CAFOD walkers
The Burnley and Padiham CAFOD walkers
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Catholic churchgoers from Burnley and Padiham "shared the journey" of refugees by walking around the area.

The first walk, undertaken by local CAFOD supporters, took place between the three Catholic churches of West Burnley and Padiham, covering eight miles, while the other was along the canal from Burnley to Brierfield and back, a four miles return trip.

The walks were undertaken in support of an international campaign, 'Share the Journey', launched by Pope Francis, asking for just global agreements in the treatment of refugees and an attempt to express solidarity with refugees fleeing war, extreme poverty and persecution.

A varied group of parishioners from the churches of St John the Baptist, Padiham, St Mary Magdalene’s, Burnley, and St Augustine’s, Burnley, completed 81 miles as a combined total.

Monica Atherton (88) completed the full walk of nearly four miles along the canal.

She said: “The people of St John’s and Christ-the-King came together to support their fellow sisters and brothers who are fleeing some terrible situations across the world.

"These include the wars in Syria and South Sudan, the persecution of Rohingya and Kachin minorities in Myanmar or Burma and other man-made and natural disasters.”

CAFOD, the aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has been leading the response of the Catholic community to this campaign across England and Wales. It has been asking people to help walk a combined distance of 24,900 miles, in other words a distance equivalent to the circumference of the earth.

Anne Marie Coppock, one of the walk organisers, said: “The walkers from Burnley covered 46 miles as a group, which may seem small, but when added to the combined total we are walking thousands of miles for others.

"Let’s hope all these miles, prayers and the many thousands of campaign cards sent to Theresa May will encourage her to establish global agreements with other world leaders which respect the dignity of all those forced to leave their homes.”