Hilaire Belloc bought King's Land (in Shipley, Sussex), 5 acres and a working windmill for £1000 in 1907 and it was his home for the rest of his life. Belloc loved Sussex as few other writers have loved her: he lived there for most of his 83 years, he tramped the length and breadth of the county, slept under her hedgerows, drank in her inns, sailed her coast and her rivers and wrote several incomparable books about her. "He does not die that can bequeath Some influence to the land he knows, Or dares, persistent, interwreath Love permanent with the wild hedgerows; He does not die, but still remains Substantiate with his darling plains."

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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

GK Chesterton Walking Pilgrimage...

Chesterton's grave in Beaconsfield (carved by Eric Gill). Stuart's son, Nathanael, stands proudly next to it.

One of these days I will write about GK Chesterton and his relationship with Belloc. I think it sufficeth to say, for the moment, that had it not been for Belloc there would probably have been no Chesterton (as he 'became').

They first met, according to Chesterton, at a restaurant in Soho:

He entered like a man armed, and as with a clang of iron. He brought with him news from the fronts of history. What he brought into our dream was this Roman appetite for reality and for reason in action, and when he came into the door there entered with him the smell of danger. He remarked that he was in low spirits. His low spirits were and are much more uproarious and enlivening than anybody else’s high spirits. He talked into the night, and left behind in it a glowing track of good things. When I say good things, I mean things that are truly good. This man has made the greatest fight for good things of all the men of my time.

I will write more, about their collaborative friendship, at some stage in the future.

Sticking with the Chestertonian theme, a splendid chap called Stuart McCullough will be engaging in a 'pilgrimage' to his resting place in Beaconsfield at the end of the month. Stuart writes:

The Delayed 2nd Annual GK Chesterton Walking Pilgrimage, Saturday 28th July.

After last year’s first annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage, it was announced that, “Next year we will walk to Beaconsfield from London!” Then on the 11th June the details were published, and the Pilgrimage would take place on the 14th June.

So far so good, then the organiser's toothache came back with a vengeance! He saw the dentist on the 13th, started on antibiotics and lots of pain killers, at 1am on the 14th, unable to sleep his Wife said, “Have you asked Chesterton to sort it out”. He said the Chesterton Prayer and asked him to stop the pain and by 3am he was asleep. When he got up at 6am the tooth was fine, but he could not get out of bed due to sickness induced by the antibiotics! His Wife phoned and emailed Priests etc and the Pilgrimage was off!

The 30th July will be the 90th anniversary of GK Chesterton’s Conversion , therefore on the nearest Saturday (28th July) the delayed 2nd annual Chesterton Pilgrimage will take place. No doubt, GKC did not want us to ignore this important anniversary.

The day will start at 9am outside St George's Church of England Church, Aubrey Walk, London, W8 7JG, where GK Chesterton was baptised. Here we will read the first paragraph of Chesterton's Autobiography, say the Chesterton Prayer and then march (stroll slowly) off in the direction of Uxbridge looking for a cafe where we can stop for breakfast. At 1.30pm Fr Schofield will celebrate a Latin Mass [the only Mass Chesterton and Belloc knew], in thanksgiving for Chesterton's Conversion, which took place 90 years ago this month. Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael, Osborn Road, Uxbridge, UB8 1UE, you are welcome to attend the Mass even if you are not doing the walk. Then we will walk on to Beaconsfield (13 miles approx) where Chesterton lived, converted, died and is buried. We will then say the prayer for the Beatification of GK Chesterton at his graveside. www.catholicgkchestertonsociety.co.uk

For more details or to join the pilgrimage see www.justgiving.com/Stuart-McCullough or follow on Twitter on the day, @Stuart1927

Prayer for the Beatification of GK Chesterton:

God Our Father, Thou didst fill the life of Thy servant Gilbert Keith Chesterton with a sense of wonder and joy, and gave him a faith which was the foundation of his ceaseless work, a charity towards all men, particularly his opponents, and a hope which sprang from his lifelong gratitude for the gift of human life. May his innocence and his laughter, his constancy in fighting for the Christian faith in a world losing belief, his lifelong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his love for all men, especially for the poor, bring cheerfulness to those in despair, conviction and warmth to lukewarm believers and the knowledge of God to those without faith. We beg Thee to grant the favours we ask through his intercession, the end of abortion in this Country [and especially for……] so that his holiness may be recognised by all and the Church may proclaim him Blessed. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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