The Sussex Commandery Country Amble

 At 9am on Saturday 29th July five humans and two canine friends gathered in the rain at Lancing College and so began the 2019 Sussex Commandery Sponsored Walk. Armed with waterproofs and umbrellas we set off for the river Adur led by Simon. Along the way we encountered some rather large cows who, quite understandably, were somewhat reluctant to move. However, faced with our own cow whisperer, Jonathan, the cows were persuaded to let us pass by. Along the way some members had been relishing the prospect of an all-day breakfast enjoyed on previous occasions at the Cat & Canary, Henfield. We were welcomed into Henfield by our support person, Steve, and with the pub in sight excitement built but was short lived when, on arrival, we discovered that the pub had been recently taken over by a new landlord who was yet to appoint a chef so, alas, no food.

Steve and Jonathan provided alternative sustenance in the form of nuts and cherries and after some much needed liquid refreshments off we headed with Stan’s Bike Shack now in our sights. Along the way Roly, Steve’s 7-year-old Labrador enjoyed some time in a particularly muddy stream as we followed the old railway track through the West Sussex countryside. On arrival at Stan’s Shack we were able to enjoy tea, coffee and cake before heading off on the last leg of our 13-mile walk. As we neared West Grinstead, our destination, Simon highlighted that the approach to the church, St George’s, took us through some paddocks that housed some beautiful, but feisty horses. In view of this and the fact that one of our canine friends, Sophie, had walked further than she has ever walked in her life due to a diagnosis of muscular dystrophy, and whilst she had done amazingly well was now visibly tired, we called upon Steve to collect the dogs and drive them to the church.

The five of us walkers then continued the short distance to the church variously greeting horses, sheep and goats along the way. On arrival at St George’s we were greeted by the Priest in Charge, Rev Alison Letschka, her Church Warden and some of the walkers’ families and friends as well as the dogs, Sophie and Roly. The Commandery Chaplain, Fr John Wall, then led evening prayer that included a thoughtful reflection. The service was followed by refreshments that had been kindly prepared by Liz and Christine and were much appreciated by all.

In total the walk raised more than £1,000 for the St Lazarus Charitable Trust.