A group of parishioners from St Wilfrid’s in Preston braved the very wet weather last Sunday to pray and reflect on God’s Creation. The initiative was organised as part of a series of events, called 'Live Simply', linked to Pope Francis’s Laudato Si and our mission to care for our common home.
The Creation Walk was arranged to fall in with the Season of Creation – from 1 September to 4 October – and the parish is aiming to celebrate a mass as it did last year, later next month.
Joseph Cooper from the Faith and Justice Group prepared a journey of prayer and reflections travelling through Avenham Park in Preston from top to bottom, finishing near the banks of the River Ribble.
The approximately fifteen parishioners attending were asked to walk around and connect with nature, bringing back an item such as a leaf, acorn or reporting a sighting of a particular bird. The aim was to reflect on the beauty and simplicity of the elements collected, which we only too often forget and miss in our busy lives.
The following questions were asked:
• What aspect of your home the earth do you love most?
• What do you find beautiful or joyful about life on earth?
• What do you consider to be your greatest blessing?
The group reflected on how nature provides shelter for animals yet we as humans, who are supposed to be advanced beings, are not able to provide homes for our own kind.
The rain actually served as an opportunity for the group to reflect on the current extreme weather conditions other countries in the world have experienced. It also gave the chance to watch and listen to the ripples in the basin of a waterfall grotto, as the walkers threw pebbles into the water in an act of freeing themselves of a particular thought or action weighing on the mind.
"Taking time to connect with nature was a wonderful experience, especially shared with other people" says parishioner Shirley Russo. "Herons, egrets and ducks enriched the landscape with their presence and the raindrops provided beautiful soothing music whilst dancing amongst the lily beds in the Japanese Ornamental Garden."
The walk ended near enough to another local watering hole – better known as the Continental Pub – to provide the group with a drink or two to continue the reflection and contemplate how as a community we can work towards creating a better common home.