St Francis of Assisi Catholic Ramblers’ Club


Affiliated to the Ramblers Association and H.F. Holidays



Programme of Rambles Spring 2020


Walks for the next programme by early May please


Well done to the leaders for making this Spring programme possible. Sixteen walks in all!! Is this a record?


Please be aware; there are only four rambles on a Sunday in this programme. The remaining twelve are on Saturdays or public holidays. Make sure you check the dates below.


Sunday 1st March                 Leader: Margaret Brady                (OS Explorer 161)

Meet:            Waterloo 0955 for 1018 train to Mortlake (arr. 1039).
                     Trains usually depart from platforms 18 to 24.

Lunch:          The Rocket - Wetherspoons. South side of Putney Bridge.

Tea:              Maybe

Distance:      8 miles returning from Battersea Park or Queenstown Road                           Battersea stations.

Fare:             Oyster / Freedom pass / Travelcard options

9am Mass at St Patricks, Cornwall Street, less than 5 minutes from Waterloo station.


To view some photographs taken on Margaret's walk on 1 March click HERE


Saturday 7th March     Leader: Kevin MacNamara     (OS Landranger 176)

Meet:            Waterloo, under the clock, 0930 for 0950 train to Staines (arr. 1022)

Lunch:          The Thames Court, Shepperton / The Ferry Cafe (for light                              snacks) / Benches nearby   for anyone bringing a picnic.

Tea:              Various options at Hampton Court

Distance:      12 level miles from Staines to Hampton Court along Thames                           Path, including ferry from Shepperton Lock to Weybridge Lock.

Fare:             PAYG Oyster. Holders of 60+ Oyster and Freedom Pass must                        buy a single ticket from Boundary Zone 6 to Staines £2.60 with                      Railcard discounts. Oyster / Freedom Pass / Travelcard options                      for return journey from Hampton Court. Cost of Ferry £2.50.


To view some photographs taken on Kevin's walk on 7 March click HERE


Saturday 14th March      Leader: Maurice Hickman   (OS Landranger 187)


NB Please take careful note of Maurice's message below if you intend to join this walk


Meet:            Victoria at 0900 for the 0925 train to Holmwood (arr. 1029)

Lunch:          The Surrey Oaks, Parkgate. Good food and drink

Tea:              Tanhouse Farm Shop and café

Distance:      9 miles, returning from Holmwood. Terrain fairly level

Fare:             £9.65 CDR Holmwood with railcard discounts


Dear all,
As I expect for all rambles which involve walking across farmland and  
along bridle paths, the walk this coming Saturday will be no  
exception.  Given the conditions experienced in walking out this walk  
it was very muddy and watery underfoot.  In several places it will be  
impossible to prevent your boots from sinking to just below the water  
or mud level so please ensure that your boots are fully waterproof,  
otherwise you will be walking on water for most of the day.  Please  
also bring a walking pole or suitable stick to prevent being tripped  
up by briars etc which you will encounter underfoot.  However I was  
wearing a new pair of waterproof boots and managed to prevent the  
water getting in.  One consolation if you stay the course is that we  
will stop for about half an hour at a farm shop where you will be able  
to get a mug of tea and a delicious home made cake.  The fruit cake  
was particularly tasty.



Sunday 22nd March  Leaders:  Derek & Mary Clarke(OS Landranger 154)

Meet:            Kings Cross at 0840 for 0903 train to Hitchin (arr. 0944), then                          stay on the same platform and wait for the 0955 train to                                  Meldreth (arr. 1017)

Lunch:          Wimpole Hall Old Rectory Restaurant or Farm Café

Tea:              TBA

Distance:      12.5 miles Returning to Meldreth taking in Wimpole Hall and                          Orwell

Fare:             CDR £10.65 Meldreth with railcard discounts  


Saturday 28th March   Leader: John Burbage     (OS Landranger 186)  

Meet:            Waterloo Station 0910 for 0930 train to Godalming (arr. 1010).                        Please note: if travelling from Clapham Junction take the 0927                        and change at Woking

Lunch:          Grantley Arms, Wonersh. Gastropub with extensive menu                              including sandwiches and wraps, light lunches and varied main                       courses with prices at the upper end

Tea:              Highly likely in Guildford

Distance:      11 miles with some hills. Wide variety of scenery along the                               River Wey and in heathland, forest and downland

Fare:             £13.80 off-peak return with railcard discounts


Saturday 4th April                 Leader: Tom Gilmartin    (OS Explorer 162)

Meet:            Cannon Street 0915 for 0928 train to Bexley (arr. 1015). Also calls London Bridge 0941, New Cross (Overground 0949), and Lewisham 0954 (DLR).

Lunch:          The Star Pub. Sidcup Place Park.  Picnic area nearby

Tea:              Sovereign of the Seas (Wetherspoons), Petts Wood

Distance:      8 Miles. Can be muddy

Fare:             Oyster/Freedom pass/travel card options


Good Friday 10th April   Leader: Maurice Hickman  (OS Explorer 134/135)

Meet:            London Bridge 1015 for 1035 train to Three Bridges (arr. 1109).                      Ramblers can also pick this service up at West Hampstead                            Thameslink 1006, St Pancras International Platform A,                                  Farringdon 1024 and Blackfriars 1029. Train also from Victoria                       1036 arriving 1114. Maurice will wait for this.

Lunch:          Coaching Halt, Maidenbower.  Very reasonable priced food.

Tea:              Snooty Fox, Three Bridges

Distance:      7.5 miles returning from Three Bridges

Fare:             CDR Three Bridges £6.95 London Bridge and £12.75 Victoria.                        Both with railcards

                     Early lunch as we will be attending the 3pm Good Friday                                Service at Worth Abbey.  Please do not wear your boots when                        entering the church, bring clean footwear to change into or                              leave your boots at the church entrance. Maurice will meet the                        ramblers at Three Bridges.


Easter Monday 13th April    Leader: Ant Connolly  (OS Explorer 173)

Meet:            Kensal Green (Bakerloo and Overground), 1020 for a 1030                            prompt start.

Coffee:         A brief coffee | cake | comfort stop after cemetery visit

Lunch:          The Metropolitan Bar, just by Baker Street station.  Lunch will                          be at end of walk. Opportunity to meet for an Easter Social at                           the pub – walkers will get there by 2.00pm

Distance:      6.5 miles. Highlight of the walk is the visit to The General                                Cemetery of All Souls, boasting one of the finest collections of                         Grade II listed funerary monuments

Fare:             Oyster / Freedom pass / Travelcard options. Return from Baker                       Street


Saturday 18th April – Visit to Leonardslee Gardens, W. Sussex.  See News and Events pages.


Sunday 19th April           Leader: Brian Falls           (OS Explorer 208)

Meet:            Kings Cross 0850 for 0913 train to Arlesey (arr. 0950)

Lunch:          Green Man, Stanford

Tea:              Biggleswade

Distance:      12 level level miles returning from Biggleswade taking in the                            Shuttleworth Aerodrome and a couple of wildlife sanctuaries.

Fare:             £9.90 CDR Biggleswade with railcard discounts.


Saturday 25 April            Leaders: Ann Brooks, Virginia & Roger Yelland   (OS Explorer 174)

Meet:            Theydon Bois (Central Line zone 6) 1000 for 1015 PROMPT                          departure. Theydon Bois is about 45 minutes from Oxford                              Circus, but please allow plenty of time!.

Lunch:          The Woodbine or The Volunteer, Honey Lane (TQ413 998)

Tea:              Possibly the Robin Hood tea hut, or Loughton

Distance:      8.5 miles through Epping Forest returning from Loughton                                (Central Line: Zone 6).

Fare:             Freedom pass /Oyster/Travelcard options.

Call Roger for more details


Sunday 26th AprilDay of Recollection – full details in the News and Events pages.


Saturday 2nd May             Leader: Maria Vaz            (OS Explorer 172 & 181)

Meet:            Marylebone 0910 for 0927 Chiltern train to Rickmansworth (arr.                       0949) for 1000 prompt start 

Lunch:          The Red Lion, Chenies

Tea:              Chesham

Distance:      11-mile ramble in the Chess Valley following the River Chess;                        includes some hills. Expect muddy paths after wet weather.                            Returning from Chesham (direct Metropolitan line services                              every 30 minutes to Baker Street and beyond).

Fare:             Oyster/Freedom pass/Travelcard options 


Saturday 9th May              Leader: Ant Connolly      (OS Explorer 196)

Meet:            Liverpool Sreet station 0915 for 0930 train to Manningtree (arr. 1031)

Lunch:          The Marlborough pub, and other options nearby in Dedham.                            Park and Church grounds for picnic

Tea:              National Trust Tea Room, Flatford Mill. Time enough to visit the                      John Constable museum, RSPB garden and other highlights of                      Flatford Mill.

Distance:      9 miles. Can be muddy in places after rain and two stiles.                                Morning walk is a little hilly but after lunch is flat, more scenic                          and interesting

Fare:             £21.90 CDR Manningtree with railcard discounts

Ant will meet the ramblers at Manningtree. 


Sunday 17th May              Leader: Pauline Lobo     (OS Landranger 165)     

Meet:            Marylebone 0850 for 0913 train to Princes Risborough (arr. 1000)

Lunch:          The Swan, Smokey Row, Great Kimble.

Tea:              Wendover – plenty of options

Distance:      11 miles returning from Wendover via the Ridgeway and                                  Chequers Estate with not too strenuous hills.

Fare:             £10.25 CDR Aylesbury via Princes Risborough with railcard                            discounts. Please note the ramble goes between two different                        lines served by Marylebone trains.


Saturday 23rd May       Leader: John Burbage         (OS Landranger 176)      

Meet:            Marylebone 0920 for the 0946 train to Gerrards Cross (arr. 1004).
Train also calls at South Ruislip (Central Line) 10.03.

Lunch:          Blackwood Arms, Littleworth Common. Atmospheric pub with good food nestled in a      forest setting. Picnic tables nearby. A club favourite.

Tea:              Probably in Gerrards Cross.     

Distance:      13 miles mainly on pleasant forest paths through Burnham                              Beeches, Egypt Woods and Farnham Common. Some road                           walking.

Fare:             £10.55 CDR Gerrards Cross with railcard discounts


Bank Holiday Monday 25th May  Leader: John Sealy   (OS Explorer 161)

Meet:            Victoria 0920 for 0946 train to Waddon (arr. 1022).
                      Also calls Balham 1000 (Northern line)

Lunch:          William Morris pub, Abbey Mills. Other choices available.

Tea:              TBA

Distance:      10 mostly level and dry miles returning from Wandsworth Town

Fare:             Oyster/Freedom pass/Travelcard options 


Sunday 31st May         Leaders: Antoinette Adkins and Lizzie Cripps   (OS Landranger 178)

Meet:            Fenchurch Street 0900 for 0918 train to Benfleet (arr. 1002)                            circular walk to Leigh on Sea. Some steep hills before lunch,                           can be muddy and slippery in wet weather

Lunch:          The Mayflower, 5 & 6 High Street, Leigh on Sea, (excellent fish                       and chips) plus various other options nearby

Distance:      10 miles returning from Benfleet

Tea:              Barge Gladys about 400m before you reach Benfleet station

Fare:             CDR Benfleet £9.20 with railcard discounts


News and Events Spring 2020


Items for the next programme by early May please


Dear Members,


We would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year plus mention must be made of our 90th anniversary year, so happy anniversary year! The first SFACRC walk was held on 24th August 1930 in the vicinity of Dorking. On the 25th anniversary our members were able to purchase a ticket to the dinner and dance celebration for only £1. Please note, that August 2020 will be a busy time and quite a few of our members will be away on holiday or indeed on pilgrimage from Swansea to Hereford to celebrate 700th anniversary of St Thomas of Cantilupe, so we will arrange our celebratory Mass one Saturday lunchtime, with a meal thereafter, possibly in September or indeed October perhaps to marry in with our AGM. We will notify you about this happy occasion in our next newsletter once the requisite arrangements have been agreed in tandem with the church and caterers etc.


Gillian McLauchlan

Special thanks to Tony Finnegan and Gillian’s sister, Theresa Roberts, for their kind tributes to Gillian which are on pages 7/8 of this programme.


Trip to Assisi

I am in the process of receiving quotes for our Assisi trip from Tangney Tours and Pax Travel. Please let me know by email as soon as possible or by post if you aren’t on email to state if you and your friends and family would definitely like to come on a pilgrimage to Assisi.


The committee is inviting Father Chris from Mary Moorfield’s to come on the pilgrimage with us, as he is our SFACRC President. The more people we have attending, the cheaper it is for all. We will be staying at the Franciscan Hotel ‘Domus Pacis’ in Assisi which looks very comfortable, and thinking of organising the trip next Spring in March around St Patrick’s Day so we can celebrate two Saints for the price of one!!  My email address is


Walk Register

It was decided at our penultimate committee meeting to institute a new ‘walk register’ form to be given to all SFACRC walk leaders in order for members to duly enter their name and membership status upon them. The email column is for new members joining as we already have current members’ email addresses. (Please notify us if your contact details have changed). The registers have given us an extra level of security as we know who is on our walks now and we can keep a record of our members’ attendance. The committee will forward you a new pie chart showing attended walks in due course.


Subs and members who are deceased or moved with no new contact details

Thank you very much to those members kindly sending in their subs. Here is a further gentle reminder to any members who may perhaps have forgotten to pay their £12 annual fee (if not a life member). In addition, thank you to those who have notified us about members who have either moved address, left the country, gone into care or sadly passed away. We greatly appreciate your return correspondence on these matters. It’s so helpful. There are still others we are not aware of, so your continued help is needed.


Anna Trugnach would like to say ‘thank you’ to all of those who sent their love and best wishes prior to her move back to France. We really do wish Anna all the very best with her new life.


Recent club outings involved a carol concert at Robinson’s College, Cambridge. Some members had a stroll around Cambridge, lunch and even a quick visit to the Italian section of Fitzwilliam Museum to look for any paintings of St Francis of Assisi. Only one was found but time well spent looking. We hope you’ll come on this visit next December. An annual night of dining and dance was celebrated in the spirit of Christmas at Posk in Hammersmith. Plus, members also experienced a festive meet-up at the ‘Liberty Bounds’ Wetherspoons in the City after one of our river rambles. Maureen Furlong kindly provided candles etc to make our afternoon glow. In addition to this, a wonderful lunch was had by approximately 30 of us at the Falcon Pub, Clapham Junction kindly arranged by Hania Poniatowska to grind in the New Year on 3rd January. It was great to see so many of you there.


Members receiving the programme by post. Life and Annual

Please let us have your up-to-date emails as we would prefer to send you our newsletters via email. We have noted that some members like to receive their newsletters both online and by post. You will appreciate that we have both printing and postage costs so if you are requesting the above, we will gladly oblige, however, please be mindful of the escalating cost of stamps and printing. 


Membership packs

Antoinette Adkins, our membership secretary, has updated the membership pack in conjunction with Tony Finnegan’s kind assistance. Thank you both.




Day of Recollection at the Poor Clares’ Convent Our member and secular Franciscan, Roger Yelland, has invited us to this reflective day at Arkley on 26th April 2020 from 10.30a.m to 4.30pm led by Fr Jesmond Pawley OFM (Conv), National Spiritual Assistant to the Secular Franciscan Order. Lifts by car will be provided from High Barnet station from 10.00a.m until 10.30a.m and then lifts back to High Barnet at the end of the day, around 4.30pm. Lunch is provided. There is no charge for the event, but please make a donation to the Poor Clares on the day. Please call Roger on 07910 358646, to ensure there is enough food at lunch, as well as for transport to and from High Barnet if you prefer not to walk.


Holiday in Rottingdene in May

If you fancy a peaceful, pleasant and quiet holiday in a beautiful surrounding, Dorothy Hickman is arranging a holiday staying at St Martha’s Convent, The Green, Rottingdene, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 7HA from 23rd – 30th May. Cost £270 for half board for 7 days or £47 per night. Mainly sightseeing with short walks visiting Devil’s Dyke, Birling Gap, Beachy Head, Cuckmere Haven etc. Martha’s Convent is situated 5 mins from the sea and is in the ancient village of Rottingdean which is 4 miles from Brighton.


If interested, please phone Dorothy on 01737 765231 as soon as possible please or contact the sisters directly (mention Dorothy Hickman’s name in case they are keeping rooms for us already).


Maurice Hickman’s dates


Saturday 18th April 2020 Visit to Leonardslee Gardens, West Sussex

Meet at Victoria 1010 for 1036 train to Horsham (arrive 11.27). After arriving at Horsham you will walk through Horsham Park to the town centre to have an early lunch at the Lynd Cross (Wetherspoons pub). After lunch we can catch the 1303 Stagecoach No 17 bus from the nearby bus station to the Leonardslee Gardens (arr. 13.36). After tea at the Gardens, catch the 1710 bus back to Horsham (arr. 1740). Attend the 6pm Vigil Mass at St John The Evangelist Church, Horsham. If you don’t wish to go to the Mass, continue on the bus to the station. The rail fare is £15.05 with a Network Card and a ticket for the Gardens is £12.50 or £11 for Seniors 60 plus. Early Bird tickets are £1.50 cheaper online.


Maurice has details about July’s Refugee Walks plus info on the all important 700 year celebratory pilgrimage from Swansea to Hereford with Arundel & Brighton which runs from Swansea to Hereford Aug 15th to 30th. This will culminate in a big celebratory Mass at Hereford Cathedral. More information from or call Maurice on 01737 765231.


Celebration of our 90th anniversary to be decided – one Saturday for a Mass and meal possibly in Sept or Oct so watch this space.


Photographs and videos

Please let the walk leader know at the beginning of each ramble if you ‘do not wish’ to be in any photographs. Members like to take photos in front of the many scenic views during our walks. Most weeks we display members’ various photos on our website. In addition to this, we have a card approximately 5 x 4” which lets the public know that we are a Catholic walking group which meets every weekend, (mostly on Sundays but sometimes on Saturday and actually Good Friday on a walk to Worth Abbey). There is a photo on our advertising postcard, so it’s essential that we know if you are happy to be in our pictures.


Gillian McLauchlan RIP

A personal appreciation by Tony Finnegan


Gillian passed away early on the morning of Sunday 10 November 2019, and as well as being a friend to many from when she joined St Francis of Assisi Catholic Ramblers in 1995, she also served the club in many capacities.


I, like several other members of the St Francis club, first met Gillian on the Arundel and Brighton Ecumenical Walking Pilgrimage which I joined for the first time in 1988. By that time Gillian had become a long-standing pilgrim fulfilling many important roles as a leader, back-marker, and organising the daily preparation of sandwiches, a role in which she was known as the "sarny queen"! But, her most important role was taking bookings for overnight pilgrims and ensuring that everyone made their due payments for this and events not included in the basic cost of attendance on the pilgrimage. Over the years she took part in many walkouts, and, during the Foot and Mouth disease access restrictions in 2001, she led an imaginative ramble where we could walk along parts of the Thames Path.


When Gillian went to her eternal reward in 2019 the amazing turnout for her funeral, about 300, was witness to the high esteem with which she was held. Not only did nearly a quarter of club members attend, adding to the already large congregation, the Mass was concelebrated by nine priests and amongst the tributes read out at the Mass one was from the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and another from the recently appointed Archbishop of Southwark who had been an Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster with responsibility for Gillian's parish in Shepherds Bush.


A summary of notes sent in by Theresa Roberts, Gillian’s sister

Gillian was born on 21st October 1952, Trafalgar Day. Her well attended funeral was held at Our Lady of Fatima, Whitechapel. Many from St Francis of Assisi Catholic Ramblers attended her funeral in tandem with HCPT, A&B Pilgrimages, The Guild of St Stephen and other groups. Gillian did not fear death and only lay in bed helpless for two days. God was merciful. She is now safe with Him and her twin sister, Monica who died of the same condition approximately two years before.


Gillian trained as a nursery nurse. She then went on to learn sign language which she used to great effect with deaf children.


Gillian wore many hats as a fellow pilgrim, SFACRC rambler, signer, Eucharistic Minister, someone to turn to in an hour of need, a poignant voice on the telephone and a loving servant of God and his church. Gillian helped people in so many ways. She was a huge help to SFACRC by being our Treasurer for the best part of 19 years.


Gillian was enamoured with pilgrimages after having experienced her first one to Lourdes with Monica, her elder sister Theresa and their Mum at age 10. This was an experience so rich to her that she gave thanks for her last pilgrimage when she returned for her final trip to Lourdes with Theresa with group 537 at Hosanna House in August 2019. Theresa found a bidding prayer at the bottom of her rucksack. It said


      “Dear Lord, thank you for enabling me to join this group. I thank you for           2½ years of chemo without pain and with few side effects.  Now there is         no more treatment I fully acknowledge my life is totally in your hands. I           pray for patience as I learn to accept my body’s limitations; for                       graciousness when people offer help, especially when I think I don’t               need it, and like my twin sister before me – for courage to face the future

       with good humour. Lord in your mercy … Hear our prayer”.


The members of SFACRC who knew Gillian were all touched by her generosity of goodwill and her great sense of humour. She kept fit by going on rambles and pilgrimages with us and others plus the ability to nip up and down her 51 steps to her third floor flat.


You’ll be happy to read that Gillian was decorated with the medal of Merit from Westminster which has an inscription on the reverse. The papal colours were on its ribbon. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.


(There were indeed 9 priests, as Tony says. They evidently included both the National and Westminster Diocesan Directors of St Stephen, Canon Madely, then Dean of Arundel Cathedral, and Fr Fitch from St John the Baptist in Brighton. Much of the Central Council of the Guild attended and the singing was led by the Choir of Gunnersbury School. The whole mass was signed for the benefit of the Deaf Community present.)


Sadly, we have been notified of the deaths of four current and former members, all in January.

Sean Kirby. Husband of Mary Kirby nee Hennessey.

Peter Culba

Sandra Gunn

Alan Rowe


With condolences and sympathies to Joe O’Reilly on the passing away of his nephew Martin aged 60, son of his older brother Brendan died before Christmas and three weeks later Joe's twin brother Kevin died.

Please remember all of them and their families in your prayers.

 St Francis of Assisi and St Clare pray for us


Club Committee 2019/2020


Please note: the contact details of the committee members below should only be used for the sole purpose of members being able to contact them on legitimate club business.


The club’s general email address is:


President:                                                Membership Secretary

Fr Chris Vipers, Parish Priest                   Antoinette Adkins

St Mary Moorfields, 4-5 Eldon Street        E: 

London EC2M 7LS                                           



Secretary                                                  Treasurer

Patricia O’Callaghan                                  John Burbage

E:                      E: 


Ramble List Compiler                              Publicity

Paul Connolly                                             David Crundall

E:                                 E: 


Other Duties:  Sheila Bravin, Ant Connolly, and Maurice Hickman