We are invited by the Pilgrims of St Francis in the Netherlands (Tochtgenoten van Sint Frans) to join them in 2023 for the pilgrimage they have organised  in Zeeland. –  Flanders, Netherlands, and Belgium 

The pilgrimage starts on Saturday, July 29 (but you are welcome to arrive the night before – Friday, July 28 from 17.00h) . It ends after breakfast (by 10.am) on Monday, August 7  

This year our Dutch Companions are organising the international pilgrimage. 

We start in Zeeuws- Vlaanderen in the southwest of the Netherlands – the border region with Belgium.
This region has many aspects:-

the battles that were fought in mediaeval  times with the Spanish; 

the battles with the soldiers of Nazi Germany and the reconstruction. 

and in the 16th and 17th centuries, this region was a refuge for French Huguenots. 

Countless memories can be found in towns and in the countryside.

Moreover, this is a region linked to water, the Westerschelde with its ports –  Antwerp, the old port of Bruges and the Zwin nature reserve.  Visitors are also attracted by its varied fauna and flora in abundance and by all the old towns. 

The Pilgrimage starts in Oostburg in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen where we are guests at the school complex the Zwincollege (approx. 730 students).

There will be  groups for walkers, non-walkers and people who have difficulty walking longer distances.
There is a special centre for the elderly or people who cannot walk very far with beds for up to 16 people  Please note – access is by an outside staircase (no lift) but once upstairs, the space is very suitable, a bed for everyone, sanitary facilities and a complete kitchen. 

Families with children will be accommodated in a star group – Star groups only have 2 or 3 venues for the pilgrimage (not moving on every day).
Most groups will consist of about 15 – 20 people, with different nationalities and age groups. 

The theme for 2023 is:-   Who do I follow? 

There will be discussions scheduled during the pilgrimage together with appropriate texts. 

Details about fares, travel options, whether or not there will be a cycling group, and other issues will follow early in 2023. 

A reminder: the Companions of St. Francis, form an international, ecumenical peace and pilgrimage movement. 

Every year we organise a walk somewhere in Europe. In mixed age groups with about 15 – 20 participants per group, from many European countries, we will walk for eight or nine days through the countryside in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, preparing our meals together, staying overnight in very simple accommodation and sharing our faith. 

Along the way, we talk about our responsibilities in society and to the environment, about peace and justice and everything that touches our hearts. 

Singing, playing, laughing and adventure – that too will not be missing. 

In this way, for more than 90 years, we have tried to achieve more mutual understanding and tolerance and to apply this in our daily lives. 

Come and walk with the Companions!