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Walkers Ramblings by Canon Eddy Burton on Trent to Scunthorpe


After a night in my own bed the day dawned full of rain and I have to admit I had doubts as to whether the final stage would go ahead. However the presence of nine other people eager to walk with me meant that there was no choice in the matter and so after a post Mass cup of tea we braved the rain and set out.

The first hour or so was wet and miserable but then the rain stopped and we began to dry out. We stopped for a lunch break at Burton upon Stather and we were joined by another four walkers for the final stretch to Alkborough. We passed some wonderful views of the Trent as it reached its end at the Humber Estuary.

Just before three o’clock 14 of us reached Alkborough and two dogs too, the biggest group I had walked with on my journey. For me it was a fitting ending to the whole walk in which I believe I covered some 120 miles in 10 days of walking. As well as the pleasure and satisfaction that the walk has given me I hope it has helped to raise the profile of the Retired Priests Appeal and some much needed funds.

Thanks to all!

Good wishes, Father Eddy

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Penultimate update:

Today’s walk from just outside Gainsborough to Scunthorpe was a solo walk giving me time to reflect on my experiences to date. The majority of the walk was along the bank of the Trent before turning away from the river to approach Scunthorpe. The weather was pleasant throughout although at some points the ground was still wet underfoot. Reflecting on my walk I thought about the many amazing people I had met on my journey, and their great desire to support this appeal.


Having enjoyed the hospitality of Fr Matthew at St Hugh’s in Lincoln the day began as usual with morning Mass. After Mass my two companions for the day, Colin and Helen, together with myself were driven to our starting point which was the village of Bransby. Although the weather forecast was poor we had an enjoyable day’s walking, mainly through fields, passing through a number of villages including Stow with its fine church. In the course of the day we passed horses, donkeys, cattle and sheep, together with many different types of crops and we also passed a number of rural polling stations on our route!. Farming seems to be alive and well in Lincolnshire. After a lunch break in Upton we made our way through the outskirts of Gainsborough until we reached our destination of St Thomas’s.

7TH JUNE NEWARK TO LINCOLN (NEWTON ON TRENT)carol 1carol 2carol 4carol 5carol 6carol 7carol 8carol 9carol)

After a hospitable stay at Holy Trinity, thanks to Father Michael, Father Peter, and Mary, I left not long after morning Mass. I was joined by Carol, a parishioner of Holy Trinity, and we began the journey from Newark towards Lincoln. We joined the Trent Valley Way at Collingham and followed it to Newton on Trent. The river accompanied us for much of the days walking. The weather was a total contrast to yesterday, bright and sunny although very windy. We passed through a number of villages and we were disappointed to find shops and pubs either closed or no longer there at all. Fortunately we had enough sustenance in our rucksacks to keep us going until Newton on Trent. At that point Carol and myself said our farewells and I was driven to St Hugh’s in Lincoln for my next overnight stay.

Carol Added – Can I just say that it’s true if you see a sheep on its back, it can’t roll over. Today I helped a sheep back on to her feet!! The 2nd best thing about today 😊 Obviously, no.1 has to be raising, so far, £185 for the S&RPF


Today was my first solo walking day and my first rainy day, I wonder if the two are connected! Fortunately it was also one of the shorter walks of my journey. I left Southwell after morning Mass and after a brief stop at the Minster I began my journey to Newark. After traipsing through one wet field I decided to change my route and to stick to roads where possible. The rain kept teasing me, looking as it was going to stop but then picking up once again. I managed to keep myself dry most of the way but the final entry into Newark involved passing through fields and farms once more. I arrived at Holy Trinity, Newark, in the early afternoon and was warmly welcomed by a number of people including the Retired Priests Appeal Office Team of Carla and Mandy. A thank you to them for all they do for the Appeal, not least posting these updates on a daily basis!


After a restful weekend I resumed the serious business of long distance walking. The day began with Mass in the parish of Sacred Heart, Carlton, which I concelebrated with the parish priest Fr Joe Wheat. This is the parish in which I spent almost all my childhood, the parish in which I served on the altar, and the parish in which I was ordained nearly 24 years ago. It is a place of many happy memories and I am pleased that I was able to include it in my route.
For today’s walk Fr Joe and myself largely followed the bank of the River Trent passing through a number of villages until we reached Fiskerton just below Southwell. Here we went our separate ways and I had another pleasant surprise when I learnt that my hosts for the night would be a family that I originally knew from those childhood days in Carlton I had mentioned earlier!


‘After celebrating morning Mass at the church in East Leake and a refreshing cup of tea nine of us set off in the direction of West Bridgford. A number of people had already indicated that they would be leaving us at various points on the route and in the end four of us made it to our destination.
We had a lunch break at Rushcliffe Country Park and then began our final steps towards West Bridgford. In my mind I had anticipated that we would be passing over Wilford Hill and by the cemetery, but even for someone who had grown up in and around Nottingham I had not anticipated the wonderful view that we saw as we Sharphill Wood. I could pick out the Cathedral in the distance and it reminded me of the moment on the Camino to Santiago di Compostella when one sees the Cathedral for the first time. However on this occasion our Cathedral is not my final destination, but a mid-way passing point as I continue on the Scunthorpe. I did however allow myself to anticipate the joy of walking to the Cathedral on Sunday morning with John and Gillian and other walkers, a walk which is described elsewhere on this page.
Meanwhile we continued onto the Church of the Holy Spirit in West Bridgford where we were met by a refreshing cup of tea. The walkers from East Leake returned home and I looked forward to a rest day before the walk to the Cathedral on Sunday’

EL to WB 1EL to WB 2EL to WB 3


Began with morning Mass at St Winifred’s in Shepshed with I concelebrated with the parish priest Father Michael Eastwood and also Father David Cain who was my walking companion for the day. We made good progress through the Leicestershire countryside eventually reaching the bank of the River Soar just opposite Normanton. Here our plans to use the chain ferry didn’t come to fruition and we had to divert to Zouch to cross the river by road. It was also at this point that John Curran joined us and we continued on our way to East Leake. We were warmly greeted on arrival and I look forward to resuming my walk from there once again tomorrow.



I began the day by celebrating Mass at Our Lady of Mercy in Melbourne and set off on my next stage accompanied by three parishioners Chris, Helen, and Nathan. Passing Melbourne Hall we soon left Derbyshire and crossed the county boundary into Leicestershire. For much of our day we followed the Cloud Trail which follows a disused railway line, but towards the end we had to go through a number of fields before we reached our destination of Shepshed, where we were welcomed by Father Michael Eastwood and a number of parishioners. It was a warm sunny day, but comfortable to walk in. A special mention to Nathan who must be a candidate for the youngest participant of the walk!


I travelled from Scunthorpe to Burton on Trent by train on Bank Holiday Monday, and I was met and welcomed by Father John Paul Leonard. After an enjoyable evening I made sure of some sleep ready to begin my walk the following day.
The next day began with Mass at St Joseph’s, Winshill, which was celebrated by Bishop Patrick and attended by many parishioners. After refreshments in the hall Bishop Patrick, Father John Paul, seven parishioners and myself began our walk to Melbourne.
We were on our feet for some six hours including breaks at Repton and Foremark Resevoir. We avoided roads as much as possible enjoying the South Derbyshire countryside. Eventually we reached Melbourne where we were warmly welcomed by Father Anthony Axe. However before we went our separate ways we took the opportunity for a well earned drink in a local hostelry.


Our walkers completed the final part of their walk from Glossop to St Barnabas Cathedral on Sunday 4th June. We hope you enjoy the photographs and it’s not too late to show your support by sponsoring our walkers.

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Pentecost Sunday, 4th June

Today was the final stage of our walk from Glossop and an intermediate stage for Canon Eddy on his walk.
A group of 11 people (ourselves, Canon Eddy, John Curran, fellow Catenians Stewart, Hugh and Stephen, and last, but not least, our daughter, Emma, son-in-law James and granddaughters Tilly (2) and Annie (1) )  met at Holy Spirit, West Bridgford at 8.15 this morning to walk to the Cathedral in time for 10am Mass. We were seen off by Frs Michael and John who resisted the temptation to join us on a glorious sunny morning as we walked over the suspension bridge, along the embankment under Trent Bridge then followed the canal to the centre of Nottingham.
Canon Eddy went ahead as he was the celebrant for Mass and needed to prepare for the service. We were made very welcome at the Cathedral and Canon Eddy managed to incorporate some aspects of the walk in his homily by quoting a phrase from the Sequence –  ‘Guide the steps that go astray’.
(we might have used the phrases ‘Thou in toil art comfort sweet;Pleasant coolness in the heat;’!!).
As the 10am Mass ended , there was a swift turnover at the Cathedral in preparation for the 11.15 Mass and Confirmation service. Nevertheless, Bishop Patrick found time to welcome us all to the Cathedral and to thank us for our efforts on what has been an increasingly uplifting ‘pilgrimage’ from Glossop to Nottingham – we will be forever grateful for the support, hospitality and friendship we have received from so many people along the way.
We wish Canon Eddy every success as he continues his walk onwards to his home parish of Scunthorpe and then, finally, to Alkborough.
John & Gillian F.


After a good breakfast with Karen and collecting our lovely  packed lunch, attended Mass at 9.30 at St Francis of Assisi, Long Eaton.
Set off for West Bridgford with largest accompanying group of trip – 6 parishioners (Mary, Carol, Angela, Sandra, David and Paul), 1 priest (Fr Martin) and 1 Lady (the dog!). A beautiful day to walk the 10 miles along the Trent Valley Way with stops for coffee at Beeston Marina, lunch beside the Trent (decided not to call in at Restaurant Sat Bains which we passed!) then apples (or ice cream for some!) on the River Embankment in Nottingham.  Reached Holy Spirit, West Bridgford at about 3.45 to be met with a very welcome cup of tea.

Last long walk of what has been a wonderful ‘pilgrimage’ from Glossop to Nottingham across the western parts of the diocese – wonderful scenery, welcoming people and great hospitality.

Our last leg is from West Bridgford to the Cathedral at 8.30 on Pentecost Sunday to arrive for Mass at 10am – a fitting end to a walk of about 180km which has included visits to 14 churches, 5 Masses and being hosted for 9 nights by some wonderful, generous and interesting people. We hope that it has raised some awareness of the appeal for sick and retired priests and, hopefully, some money has been raised for the appeal.


Haven’t had internet for a few days and now in Long Eaton. Sunday’s
walk from Matlock to Belper was superb. Just the two of us. Started
from church after 8.30 Mass and went up High Tor on way to Matlock Bath
– lots of motorbikes with riders admiring each other’s bikes.
Nottingham model boat club had exhibition at Cromford wharf including
model duck and ducklings! Followed Cromford canal to Ambergate then
DVHW to Belper. Superb mill and parkland at entrance to town then some
fascinating mill workers’ cottages and cobbled streets. Excellent
welcome at OL of Perpetual Succour with tea and cakes baked by Barbara ,
Fr Michael, Margaret, Sean, Theresa, Alan and many more to welcome us.
Dinner with Sean, Theresa and Imogen then very comfortable overnight
with Alan and Heather. Monday morning Mass concelebrated by Fr Michael
and Bishop Patrick then more tea and cakes from Barbara before setting
off with BP and 6 others from the parish. Most enjoyable walk to Derby
via Little Eaton and Darley Abbey though experienced first rain of walk
then another warm welcome at St Mary’s with tea and biscuits and Frs
Tim and Neil and several parishioners. Still amazed at the warmth of
our welcomes throughout the walk and the great hospitality offered by
our hosts – Gerry and Barbara offered wonderful food, drink and
hospitality in their lovely home. Today we were joined by Bernard and
Jane from St Mary’s, Loughborough ( and Loughborough Catenian Circle)
for the walk along the Derwent Valley Heritage Way and Trent Valley Way
to Long Eaton- our longest so far of over 25 km but very enjoyable in
much improved weather. Another great welcome at St Francis of Assisi
from parishioners and Fr Martin- we’ve realised over the walk that tea
is the most refreshing drink of all. Have just finished a most welcome
dinner with host Karen and Fr Martin so now face final stretch to West
Bridgford tomorrow- expect to be accompanied by several walkers from St
Francis. The whole walk has been interesting and inspirational-
wonderful people, beautiful scenery and, we hope, some money raised and
attention drawn to a very worthwhile cause.



Our walkers ready to leave on their next part of the walk.



Now in Matlock with Fr Robbie so back on wifi after yesterday’s blank!
Yesterday’s walk from Buxton to Bakewell was superb- brilliant warm
sunshine, the most magnificent scenery in Wyedale and Cheedale and then
a warm reception in Bakewell. The walk had taken us from the gritstone
of the Dark Peak to the limestone of the White Peak area – we also left
the noise from the airplanes going to Manchester !! We stayed with
Elizabeth in Bakewell- a widow who’s husband had been a deacon – and Fr
Hugh joined us later in the evening. He hadn’t been able to come for
dinner but Elizabeth packed him a huge meal to take home.
> After 2 days walking without company, we were joined today by 5
friends from the Catenians and St Mary’s, Loughborough. Our route is
now following the Derwent Valley Heritage Trail and will do so until we
reach the Trent on Tuesday. The weather seems to be changing but we’ve
been very lucky so far. We were welcomed by Fr Robbie by a lovely
afternoon tea and ,after Mass at 6 pm he’s now cooking dinner- since he
asked the congregation to pray for us we hope it’s good!
Will try to keep you informed of progress



Another splendid day – especially the weather!
Started with Mass at 8.30 said by Fr Kevin – again made very welcome by
everyone with great interest in what we were doing. An elderly farmer
who we passed while walking although not a Catholic was very interested
and sent his best wishes to us and the priests.
Walked alone today along the Midshires Way – glorious scenery with
spectacular views down to Buxton. Unfortunately the new parish priest,
Fr Gerry was busy with Bishop Patrick at opening of new school
buildings and confirmation in Glossop tonight.
Made very welcome on arrival at St Anne’s and met Paul, tonight’s host.
Been treated to a lovely Italian restaurant in Buxton by Paul,Iris,
Bruce and Peter – all parishioners at St Anne’s.
Today was fairly short (just over 10 miles) but memorable for all the
right reasons.
Might not have internet tomorrow but will try to keep you posted.
Best wishes
J & G

chapel 2chapel 3chapel


Another splendid day is drawing to a close. Started with a wonderful
breakfast with Peter and Teresa at Marple Bridge then 9.30 Mass at St
Mary’s. Well attended with Year 4 from the school. Fr John made us very
welcome,included us in the prayers then we had 15 mins Q and A with the
children after Mass. 4 walkers plus dog walked to New Mills for an
excellent lunch in the church hall, then carried on with Joe for
company (part of the way) to Chapel- en-le-Frith to be met by Peter
Barnes and Fr Kevin at St Thomas More at about 5pm. Weather,scenery and
company all very uplifting and lots of support from parishioners and
people we have met. Spent a lovely evening with Peter, Cecelia and Fr
Kevin with plenty of good food and drink. An early start tomorrow with
Mass at 8.30 though tomorrow’s walk to Buxton is a little shorter than
the first two days. So far very worthwhile and uplifting.


From John and Gillian Fernandez

Had a brilliant start to the walk. Excellent hosts last night with
Paddy and Daphne in Glossop – took in an extra church in St Mary’s
Crowned, Glossop!
Started at 10am at All Saints accompanied by 5 walkers. Picked up a
further 2 walkers at Hadfield and had a short service there from Fr Don
before we set off.
Had a wonderful lunch supplied by the ladies at Broadbottom before
continuing on to Marple Bridge to be met by Fr John and our hosts,
Peter and Teresa.
Superb weather, beautiful scenery and wonderful part of the world.


Welcome to the website for the Nottingham Diocese Retired Priests Appeal

NOVEMBER 2018- We have now raised £4,347,873.00 towards our £5 million pound goal. Thank you for your generosity and support.

Rt Rev Patrick McKinney, our Bishop of Nottingham and Patron for the appeal says ‘The Retired Priests Appeal has now been running for nearly 4 years and has been embraced by parishioners throughout the Diocese. They have helped to raise over £4 million pounds and continue to raise funds at parish level. However, some parishes, through no fault of their own, are struggling to raise their suggested contributions.

Many of our parishes are in low income, socially deprived areas and food banks are a regular feature. At this stage of the appeal, we need to continue our efforts to support our sick and retired priests. I am immensely grateful to the lay people of the diocese for helping me fulfil the Diocese’s obligation’.


John Curran, Appeal Chairman is keen to encourage donations:  “This is a chance for us to say “thank you” and to remember the many critical moments in our lives when a priest been there to assist us.” Please do read the information on this site, and get in touch if  have any questions. As part of the family of the church, our priests should be accorded the respect and support they need at the times when they need it. This is also a chance for us to remember those many critical moments in our lives when a priest has been there to assist us. Supporting the priesthood is indeed an obligation, but also a privilege.

I therefore hope you will join me in helping our sick and retired clergy, and that you will lend your support to the Retired Priests Appeal as generously as possible.