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Monday, 28 June 2010

Walk to the end of the world!

The Revd Bob Bates, Chaplain of St Vincent’s in the Algarve, has recently completed a walk traversing the vast territory of the "parish" in the southernmost region of Portugal. (St Vincent's is made up, presently, of three congregations). Teaming up with Terry Ames of Algarve Walking Experience (grey shirt on the right) the pair walked the 260 kms from Alcoutim on the Spanish border to Cape St Vincent in just 7.5 days averaging just under 40 kms each day. The route chosen, called the Algarve Way, loosely follows the route which the Pilgrims of St Vincent took to the saint’s one time burial place at the south westerly extreme of Europe where mainland meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Whilst the initial aim of the walk was to raise the profile of the Church of England Chaplaincy in that part of the Diocese of Europe Father Bob was also able to raise over €3,000 through sponsorship to help to supply air conditioning units at the Lar São Vincente, a home for severely mentally disabled young people in Albufeira. In the photo below, Fr Bob is presenting the cheque to Dona Helena Serra the Director of the Lar São Vincente in Albufeira, in the presence of the Home's administrators Paula Faria (left) and Paula Mira (right).

Father Bob commented that whilst the walk was hard work, much of it through difficult terrain, and hindered by a foot injury, the weariness of the last stretch was forgotten as the walkers neared their destination to the sound of a bugle call, the popping of champagne corks and the arrival of a coach party of residents from the home to welcome them to journey’s end.

Congratulations Fr Bob, on a great achievement!

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