Pilgrim with message to Pope makes Dartford stop-over

PUBLISHED: 10:08 07 July 2011

Andrew Bruce will spend the first night of his three-month trek to Rome at St Anselm's Church, Dartford

Andrew Bruce will spend the first night of his three-month trek to Rome at St Anselm's Church, Dartford


»Treading the path of an ancient pilgrimage route for 1,430km, a keen fund-raiser whose efforts have earned him support from Prince Harry and the Bishop of London, will make his first stop in a north Kent church.

Andrew Bruce, of Clapham, London is leaving this morning to begin his epic three-month journey from St Paul’s Cathedral, in the capital to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, delivering a personal note to the Pope.


The 49 year old, who raises funds for Help for Heroes, will be following the ancient Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome, but before then he will spend tonight at St Anselm’s Church, in Dartford after it’s vicar, Father William Scanlon played the part of the Good Samaritan.

“I was out doing a recce of the route I will be taking and my scooter packed in, right outside St Anselm’s church,” Said Mr Bruce.

“Father Scanlon came out, offered to lock it in the church away from thieves and invited me in. When he heard what I was doing he offered to put me up, which works perfectly.”

Father Scanlon said: “We have invited the mayor to come down and greet Mr Bruce and are honoured to help him with this worthy cause. It is the aim of the church to provide help to those in need.”

Mr Bruce, who is a freelance butler and hopes to raise £100,000 through his solo walk, is due to arrive at around 7.30pm, after receiving the note for Pope Benedict XVI from the Bishop of London Richard Chartres.

He will then strike out for Canterbury and then mainland Europe, walking around 20 miles a day with 20 kilograms of kit.

n To follow Andrew Bruce’s adventure or sponsor him visit and search for his name.

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