SCIAF pilgrim walks the Way of St James

Alan Brown works in our supporter services team helping keep track of all your generous donations  – but now he’s out on the road doing something entirely different.

He’s started walking a two-week pilgrimage that will see him cover the last 120 kilometres of the Camino de Santiago in Spain, the way of St James, the ancient pilgrimage route that’s drawn pilgrims for centuries.

“The idea has been in my head for a long time, it’s one of those life ambitions, but finding the right time has been the thing. But this year sees me go into the final year of preparation for the diaconate so as part of preparing for that I wanted to do some sort of pilgrimage so it seemed like the right time to do this.”

More than 300,000 people will walk the Camino this year. As Alan notes, pilgrimages of this sort are increasingly popular as people seek spiritual renewal wherever they can find it.

“With St James being the patron saint of pilgrims, and the inspiration for my confirmation name, there’s a special pull for me but people do it for all different reasons. My two friends who are doing it with me are seeing it very much as a walk, a holiday, whereas I’m approaching it as a pilgrim approaching a journey accompanied by all those people down the centuries who have made this same pilgrimage.”

In addition to his vocation to become a deacon, he also sees his work with SCIAF as part of his vocation.

“I see what I do in my job as serving people in poverty, that my wee bit of data analysis in Supporter Services helps get help to those to need it. It’s part of a spirit of service which also attracts me to the diaconate. My work here at SCIAF allows me to act out a part of my faith, to act out the Gospel call to help and support the least of these – and enable our supporters to do that as well. The work we do isn’t just about giving cash, it’s about ensuring people have dignity.

So he’s delighted to use his pilgrimage to fundraise for SCIAF.

"I truly feel as I’m walking this journey that I’ll be walking in solidarity with those who have to do long walks every day of their lives just to exist – and through the generosity of friends and colleagues provide some help to those who need it most.”

You can visit Alan’s Justgiving page here.