What does Journey: the way of the disciple have to offer?
Forty- two months after the commission to write it, Journey: the way of the disciple is nearly there. Editing and typesetting is complete, illustrations are sitting nicely within the text, cover design is polished, and very soon the presses will turn to produce the first copies. The book marketplace is a crowded one, though, so what does this one in particular have to offer?
A book about walking, born of running. My interest in all of this was originally piqued when Olympic fever was sweeping the country. All those athletes going faster, higher, stronger made me think about pilgrims prepared to go the distance in the walk of faith.
A book about now inspired by then. Five years before I started writing the book I came across the start of the Chemin des Templiers in Northern France. What made those people cross the English Channel in a rowing boat and walk all the way to Spain, I wondered? Then again, what makes over 200,000 people do it every year now?
A book which starts with the old but proceeds to the new. People of faith have been journeying ever since Adam walked out of the garden of Eden. Throughout the pages of scripture, right up until the last breath, there is a palpable restlessness. Has that restlessness been quelled by the sedentary life of the modern disciple? Have we forgotten our roots, like a Romany who parks his caravan in the back garden of his two bed semi and looks wistfully out of the kitchen window as the creepers grow over it?
A book which echoes the big journey in the small step. All along the aim has been to translate the lessons of the pilgrim’s path into the reality of the walk to work or the ride on the bus. Could we dream the same dreams on the way to Camberley as once were dreamt on the Camino? Could we breathe the same spiritual ambition on the way to Jedburgh as a pilgrim once breathed on the way to Jerusalem?
What others are saying?
‘Through personal anecdote, and reference to the writings and observations of others spanning the world and many historical periods, he draws together a case for the walked pilgrimage as the right thing for our times and shows how we might make sense of our lives by living them at walking pace. This is precise, accessible and enjoyable text rather than academic treatise’ – Linda Cracknell, author
‘The author helps us to understand walking as a spiritual act. This is a vital insight in a world that might die of over consumption’. – Rev Ray Simpson Founding Guardian, The International Community of Aidan and Hilda
‘Richard Littledale writes with wit, imagination, and heart as he unpacks the metaphor of the Christian life as a pilgrimage, providing a travel guide to help us make this momentous journey our own’ – Lisa Deam PhD
‘Anyone wishing to understand more of what walking with God might entail would be well served by reading this excellent and inspiring resource’ – Roy Searle, Northumbria Community.
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