Monolith at St Breock downs The Rt Revd Chris Goldsmith took a stand against poverty on Saturday when he stepped out with a band of walkers on the Saints’ Way Walk.

Alongside the usual rucksack contents of spare clothing and water, Bishop Chris and fellow walkers also shared the burden of carrying a bundle of firewood in solidarity with those across the world shouldering the weight – and often the back-breaking work – of extreme poverty.

The 27-mile walk took place over two days with Bishop Chris and the Archdeacon of Bodmin, the Ven Audrey Elkington covering the first day from Padstow to Lanivet with four other walkers and on the second day four walkers continued to tread in the footsteps of the Celtic Saints along the path to Fowey. So far over £300 has been raised from the walk.

The sponsored walk paves the way for next month’s Christian Aid Week (May 10-16) which will focus on the role gender discrimination plays in trapping people and communities in poverty and in particular will focus on one woman in rural Ethiopia, 29-year-old Loko, forced to carry firewood eight hours a day to raise money for just one meal for her family of six children.Sharing the load

Bishop Chris said: “I was delighted to take part in the walk – although it was certainly no walk in the park! My thoughts kept turning back to Loko searching further and further each day to gather firewood, not knowing whether she’d find any or not. It is one thing to come out and do this one day, but to have to face getting up and doing it again tomorrow and the day after would be another matter entirely.

“It was really good to take time to reflect on what we can be do to make a difference to women like Loko and it was undoubtedly made much easier by the wonderful welcome from churches along the way who supplied us with lemon drizzle cake and a choice of soup for lunch!”

Walk organiser Chris Jadav said: “We would really like to thank St Petroc’s at Padstow for tea and biscuits to send us on our way, St Clement’s at Withiel for a feast on Saturday lunchtime and St Brevita, Lanlivery and St Sampson’s, Golant for tea and biscuits on Sunday.”

You can help to change the lives of men and women in places like Ethiopia this Christian Aid Week by donating online at calling 08080 006 006, or texting ‘WEEK’ to 70040 to give £5.

During the walk the group also left ink pads and Individualised Saints Way stamps in each of the churches they passed for a project Bishop Chris is leading aimed at encouraging others to walk the Saints Way. In the future, others who walk the route will be able to get a Saints Way passport and at each church stamp a page.