Churchwarden’s Retirement Ramble

Offa’s Dyke – May 17th… Miranda Lawrance-Owen

After six years, the time has come to swap my churchwarden’s staff for trekking poles and attempt a long-held ambition to walk the Offa’s Dyke Path. Peter and I will be starting from Chepstow on 17th May, carrying our tent and kit, and rambling slowly along the 177 miles towards Prestatyn.  We will take our time, stopping to visit places on the way, and in particular I hope to visit all twenty churches along the path. My indefatigable churchwarden colleague, Judith, has persuaded me not to forget St Sampson’s and to raise funds for the St Samson’s Unlocked Project as we go.  Hopefully, she will be able to post updates of our progress whenever my phone has enough battery or signal to send them to her.

Unlocking the potential of the beautiful church of St Sampson will enable it to be used by the whole community, not just those who worship there, and will ensure its survival for the generations who come after us. We have already installed a mains water supply, path lights and a compost toilet in the churchyard.  Urgent roof repairs are done and our beautiful windows have almost finished being restored. Now we need to do the rest – heating, accessible internal WC facilities, creating a small meeting room in a side chapel, a hideaway kitchen, new flooring and major roof and ceiling repairs.  It’s a massive project but we have already raised over £250,000.  We will succeed with your help.  Thank you to everyone who has donated so far.

Just Giving page here >>

Miranda Lawrance-Owen is fundraising for St Sampson’s Church, South Hill, UK (

May 28th update: It has been a wonderful walk so far – especially with the glorious weather we are having. Have visited churches, met & prayed with another just retired churchwarden (& discussed all things church restoration with him 🤣) explored delightful small towns, climbed a few hills & enjoyed fabulous views – & put the tent up & down 9 times so far. Buttercup fields, bluebell woods, big rivers & tiny streams, wild moorland & bucolic rolling farmland, this path has it all. We will reach the half way point soon.