St John Lloyd School walks to Jerusalem!

By Sr Marie De Montfort

Our Lent Challenge … We walked to Jerusalem! Yes, all 3,827 miles on foot from St John Lloyd Primary School in Cardiff all the way to the Holy Land. Of course, we took the journey a bit at time counting up our steps during the week, seeing how far we had travelled together on our virtual pilgrimage.

Our teacher, Miss Chapman, thought we would only get as far as Canterbury in the first week but we walked so well and collected so many steps that we got all the way to Ghent in Belgium, where we visited the Cathedral of St Bavo. The next week’ s collection of footsteps took us over the mountains as far as Milan in Italy. Here we learned that St Ambrose and Pope Paul Vi were both bishops there. Our journey continued through part of Italy, passing Assisi, where we remembered St Francis, and Rome where we prayed for Pope Francis. Another week of walking took us across the water, (only we had to go by boat as we couldn’t walk on the water!) and into Greece arriving in Trikaala. Some of the very earliest Christian churches were in Greece. By the following week we reached Istanbul in Turkey where Pope John XXIII worked for many years in the Cathedral of St Anthony of Padua. The remainder of our journey took us through Syria and Lebanon and we finally reached Jerusalem in time for Palm Sunday.

Why were we challenged to walk to Jerusalem?

What’s so special about Jerusalem?

Perhaps the answer to that comes from David in Year Six who wrote, “Jerusalem is a Holy City and it is the most holy place in the world for Christians. Jesus lived much of his ministry in Jerusalem and rode into the city on a donkey while the people waved palms at him. Jesus held the Last Supper in Jerusalem. He was crucified on a cross on a hill called Golgotha and rose from the dead three days later. As a school community we are very proud to spiritually walk to Jerusalem and challenge ourselves to get as close to Jesus as we can.”

We were so excited each week to see our journey on the map on our school Twitter page @SJLCARDIFF and find pictures of ourselves out walking and to learn about the people and places on the way. During our journey we also reminded ourselves of how many special things Jesus did for us in Jerusalem. You can find these pictures on our Twitter page. To celebrate our arrival in Jerusalem the whole school took part in our version of the Jerusalema dance which you can watch on You-tube (youtube St John Lloyd- Jerusalema) On the last day of term we gave some of our pocket money so that we could actually get into the city – this was so that we could also think of other people. Our “entry tax” raised over £220 for Cafod’s water appeal.

Well done Team SJL!