The Bank Holiday at the end of May brings one of the highlights of the year for Right To Life campaigners in Liverpool Archdiocese – the annual sponsored walk amid the scenic beauty of the Ribble Valley.
The eight-mile circular walk will take place on Monday 28 May and will set out, as in previous years, from St Michael and St John's Parish Church in Lowergate, Clitheroe (BB7 1AG).
The walk will be marshalled throughout by parish priest Mgr John Corcoran and his team of stewards and it promises to be a joyful occasion once more, with refreshments available during and after the event. Walkers are invited to congregate in the car park behind the church at 12.30pm for the pre-walk speeches and instructions, ahead of a 1pm start, and please note that the terrain can be muddy in parts so suitable footwear is required.
We are, as always, grateful to our very special guests, Archbishop Emeritus Patrick Kelly of Liverpool and Lord David Alton of Liverpool, who are taking part once again, and we are delighted to announce that the comedian Jimmy Cricket KSG will be joining us too.
Lord Alton said: 'It's wonderful that Jimmy Cricket is walking with us this year. Usually a son walks in his father's footsteps but Jimmy will be doing this in reverse, in his trademark Wellington boots.'
Jimmy's son, Father Frankie Mulgrew, is a Salford priest and author of Does God LOL? and the recently published Miracles R Us. He has been a regular participant in the Right To Life Walk but this will be the first time his father has participated. Jimmy is a Knight of St Gregory – an award received in 2015 from Pope Francis in recognition of his wonderful work for charity.
Lord Alton added: 'With his unique brand of Irish humour, we'll be waiting to see if he appears in his well-known outfit of cut-off evening trousers, dinner jacket, hat and wellington boots marked "L" and "R" for left and right but worn on the wrong feet ... which might be a bit of a problem on a sponsored walk.
'Jimmy's famous catchphrase is "Ladies and gentlemen, c'mere" – and he'll be hoping that many new walkers will be joining him by doing exactly that.'
The next 18 months are vitally important for the pro-life movement which is fighting to defeat the campaign to introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth. Right To Life seldom asks for money but the activities that the organisation has planned, while targeted to be highly effective, will inevitably impact on resources.
It is worth recalling Lord Alton's words from his address at the start of last year's walk when he recalled a conversation with Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the future saint. 'It's hard for those of us – people like you and me [the Clitheroe walkers] – who battle on year after year, wondering if people are listening,' Lord Alton said. Mother Teresa retorted: 'David, you are not called upon to be successful, you are called upon to be faithful.'
Lord Alton added to those of us gathered: 'This is what this walk is about. It's a walk of witness and a walk of reparation, but it is also about being faithful to the very cause of life itself.'
• If you are able to take part, please contact me at email@example.com or on 0754 511 8743 as soon as possible to obtain sponsor and booking forms. Booking is important as it helps us to make the necessary catering arrangements. If you cannot participate in the walk, please consider sponsoring the event and promoting it in your parishes.