next takes place 4-12 April 2020
starts its walk in Epping, Essex and
journeys through Hertfordshire,
Cambridgeshire and Suffolk before arriving
approximately 130 miles later in Walsingham,
Accommodation through the week varies. Some
nights are spent in real beds, with the rest
in church or village halls. London is
nicknamed the 'Luxury Leg' as of the seven
nights en-route to Walsingham, there is a
chance to have three showers: three more
than some other Legs enjoy.
A main feature of the route is the
hospitality encountered. As well as for
meals, we stop for morning and afternoon
tea. The standard and quantity of the food
and drink on offer is legendary and a source
of no little envy amongst the other Legs.
London enjoy making music with talent
growing by the year. Often the songs reflect
the typical London Pride with many witty
ditties both sacred and profane.
There are various London traditions that
brighten the route. The playground frenzy,
occasionally ice-cream van and
the-day-with-the-chips all help lighten the
load (of cakes?!).
As with all Legs of Student Cross, London
Leg is essentially the people who walk it.
Each year is uniquely special as new friends
share that year's experience. Each
individual has their own personal reasons
for walking the week and so there is a range
of feedback. Student Cross reaches people on
all levels: socially, spiritually, mentally
and of course physically.
Those are the facts but what's it really
like? It's Friday night, 10pm and you're in
a church hall in Epping, having been
excellently fed and watered. There's a group
of like-minded people with you. They all
look reasonably ordinary and you in fact
consider yourself to be pretty ordinary.
However, you, like everyone else in the
room, have decided to forego the ordinary
Easter of chocolate eggs and chocolate
bunnies and more chocolate eggs. This is
London Leg. They will eventually all fall
asleep, despite the possible snorers, and
begin a 130-mile walk with a seven-foot
wooden cross the following morning.
The walk will take them across flat country,
beside rivers and alongside main roads. Many
a moment of contemplation and prayer offers
comfort and hope. Feelings of tiredness and
sore feet begin to loom when – lo and
behold! – fantastic hosts bearing tea,
coffee, sandwiches, biscuits and cakes (and
pointing to the nearest facilities) begin to
come into view. Relaxation is a must in the
evenings and often incorporates sampling a
range of local brews.
As the week progresses they will find the
group becoming closer and singing more in
tune! They will have made new friends and
deepened old friendships. They will have
gained a huge sense of achievement and had a
lot of fun into the bargain! Most people
return the following year as the Student
Cross experience is beyond comparison and
cannot be replicated elsewhere. Easter won't
ever be the same again.