Rev Alasdair Kay – Anglican Camino Chaplain

The Rev Alasdair Kay (Church of England) served as a Camino Chaplain both in 2018 and 2019, here a short report by him about his experience:

Rev Alasdair before Santiago cathedral.

I walked my first Camino in 2016 whilst on a sabbatical as a Parish Priest. I began in St Jean Pied de Port and walked to Santiago de Compostela and then on to Finesterre and Muxia. Since then I have walked another serving as an Anglican Chaplain on the Camino.

The Camino is a life changing journey on several levels. It can be a time of deep reflection where pilgrims grow deeper in their spirituality and often Pilgrims talk of times of encountering the divine in solitude and silence. Every Camino has had its times of real physical exertion and pain. This pain can be cathartic as it releases stress and helps people to access inner emotional and spiritual pain that is carried in life. The Camino is a place of healing and the healing happens at a deep level in a very mystical way.

People walk the Camino for a host of reasons. Our role as Chaplains on the Camino is to serve those Pilgrims who are looking for spiritual support in their Camino. Some pilgrims like to share with others and want to talk to someone about their inner life and this is where the Anglican Camino Chaplaincy comes in. Whilst walking the Camino as a Pilgrim we have many spiritual conversations with people on a whole host of subjects, faith, death, pain, relationships, prayer, the sacraments, and especially blisters and tendonitis.

Our role as Chaplains is to come alongside those who want to form this ongoing connection and often we gather as Pilgrims in what is called “Camino families” groups of Pilgrims who become friends as they walk on the Camino. We then as we walk share together our joys and pains in the inner and outer journey of the Camino. This often happens around the daily pilgrims meal at the end of the day eating and drinking together.

This year I walked the Camino Portuguese from Porto to Santiago and made 12 good friends who I still stay in contact with. Pilgrims from Malaysia, USA, Chile, Holland, Germany, Brazil, and Denmark, together we formed a Camino family and it was a real joy to all finish our pilgrimage together celebrating a special Eucharist at Santa Susanna Church in Santiago.


Br Alasdair CFC (Community of Francis and Clare)

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