The establishment of Christianity in New Zealand involved a lot of travelling about the country, much of it on foot. Bishop Selwyn was a renowned walker. The Kiwi Camino pilgrimages are aimed at getting out there again and “engaging” with the country again.
Past issues like the nineteenth century land wars still need to be thought about. The changing demographic face of New Zealand has also to be thought about and what might be the place of the Christian Church in it. At present St George’s Anglican Church is making an active effort to have an outward focus with creative pathways into the community. These pilgrimages are a direct response to that challenge.
This year we are planning four autumn and two winter pilgrimages. All have an historical and spiritual focus of varying degree. However, in keeping with the concept of pilgrimage it is up to the individual to decide his/her purpose for the walk.
The walks are of different lengths and degree of difficulty. Options exist for doing just part of them or even joining in by motor vehicle. The main thing is to participate, enjoy the company of others and maybe come to some further realisations about life along the way.
In the way the pilgrimages are currently being planned you will be part of an organised group on a specific day. We hope that in future other groups and individuals may like to use our planning as a template for their own pilgrimages. Walking notes about the routes will be provided for those who sign up for the walks and these will later be available on the website.
This is a very topical pilgrimage. It is not intended as a celebration or any sort of thanksgiving for surviving the present pandemic. We still have some way to go on that front. Rather it is an exercise in mindfulness and being aware of the serious situation the world is in.
We walk from our church to St. Andrew’s Epsom to look at their interesting 1918 plaque. From there we largely follow the course of Oakley Creek from Hillsborough to Avondale. Next, we take the bus to Waikumete. There we walk up through the cemetery looking at some of its history and any personal associations that people may wish to share.
The return journey is by train from Glen Eden Station back to Remuera Station, then walk round to St. George’s.
Walking notes will be emailed to those participating.