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Memorial for Methodist Pilgrim (Phil)

Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#1
I don't know how others will feel about this - perhaps it isn't appropriate - but I think that raising funds from within this forum to erect some sort of memorial to Phil on the Camino would be a fine thing to do, an Act of Good.

We will remember him in our hearts, of course; he was a fine man, courteous, friendly, supportive, kind, intelligent, wry, funny - and a Camino addict (in the nicest possible sense).

He left us whilst on Camino :cry:

I think that a memorial on the Camino could/would be a fitting response to losing him.

What would it be? I don't know .. a cross? a bench? An annual memorial meal at the refugio he died in?

I would be more than happy to pay into a fund to raise money for this .. but I do not know how it would work ... perhaps Ivar would be willing manage such a fund? There would be a need for permissions, a choice of an appropriate memorial ... permission from the family ...

I would love to leave a stone and a prayer and perhaps a tear, at such a place ...

Any thoughts? We are many on here .. just a few pounds each ... ?
 

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Choweth

Active Member
#2
I second your generous idea. Is there such a memorial for all of the pilgrims on the camino that left us while on their journey?
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
#3
David said:
I don't know how others will feel about this - perhaps it isn't appropriate - but I think that raising funds from within this forum to erect some sort of memorial to Phil on the Camino would be a fine thing to do, an Act of Good.
Hello David.
I think it would be very appropriate. However, it would probably need the support of someone "on the ground" in the area.
I do like the idea of some sort of memorial along the trail, or else something at the albergue a plaque, or the bench you suggested.
I would donate.
Colin
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#4
colinPeter said:
David said:
However, it would probably need the support of someone "on the ground" in the area. Colin
The family may or may not want a memorial along the Camino. I respectfully suggest that their wishes must be paramount.
Margaret
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#5
I do agree with you , but, if you have a peek at my post you will see that I wrote "permission from the family" Kiwinomad ... :wink:
 

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colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
#6
KiwiNomad06 said:
colinPeter said:
David said:
However, it would probably need the support of someone "on the ground" in the area. Colin
The family may or may not want a memorial along the Camino. I respectfully suggest that their wishes must be paramount.
Margaret
Hi Margaret,
Sorry, if I gave the impression of "charging off" without Philip's family permission, that was not my intent. If there was interest in doing something, we would certainly need to make sure their wishes were respected.
Colin
 

timwren

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005, norde 2006
#7
I can't speak for all the family obviously but I for one would be very very in favour of something. My fiancé had suggested such an idea after dads funeral and I thought it would be a lovely thing to do. I fear I wouldn't know where to start is what popped into my mind.
I don't think you would find any objections from the rest of the family. If anything they will be touched by the mere suggestion of such a thought.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#8
timwren said:
I can't speak for all the family obviously but I for one would be very very in favour of something. My fiancé had suggested such an idea after dads funeral and I thought it would be a lovely thing to do. I fear I wouldn't know where to start is what popped into my mind.
I don't think you would find any objections from the rest of the family. If anything they will be touched by the mere suggestion of such a thought.
Thank you Tim - I suppose I was really thinking of a fund-raising rather than in any way wanting to supercede family (not that you suggest that!). He passed in the refugio in Logrono? .... I have had good times there. Pilgrims sit on the ground outside waiting for it to open ... a bench could be nice, with a brass plaque on it .. or perhaps a plaque on the wall, outside or inside? As it is a refugio rather than 'somewhere' along the Camino it could be fairly simple to get permission - one has only to ask those who run the place or the town council.

Were the family to want something like this I am fairly certain that pilgrims within this forum would be more than happy to contribute ... as for assistance 'on the ground' - we have a member who lives in Pamplona .. perhaps there are others?
 

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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#9
Thanks for the thumbs up Tim. Maybe this conversation could continue with the thought that you will take any suggestions to the rest of the family and allow them to express their wishes.

I personally like the idea of a bench with a plaque - something practical - very methodistpilgrim/Phil. Maybe part of the inscription on the plaque could be something he posted here - there would be plenty of gems to choose from.

But I second the idea that ultimately the family decides.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#10
I second and heartily endorse all the thoughts concerning creation of a memorial to the late Rev. Philip John Wren. He was our friend, part of our extended Camino family, and a splendid human being.

If I could offer one opinion based on the week or so I passed getting to know Philip on his final Camino, I would think that he would want anything done in his memory to actually help pilgrims. In this regard, rather like the idea of a bench with a plaque attached to it. Ideally the plaque could have an engraved or laser-etched image of Philip in his full Camino regalia (I chuckle just picturing him - and that pleasant view will stay with me forever - what a character!)

Some practical notes:

The bench must be graffiti resistant. I saw too much of that, especially in large towns like Logrono.

The bench must be large enough for a group of pilgrims and their gear. Holders for walking poles and hiking staffs would be a nice touch.

The bench should have a trash receptacle. Philip hated seeing refuse along the Camino and would stop to pick it up. I even saw him return a used Kleenex to a pilgrim who intentionally discarded it. He offered it to her as though it was a fine, silk hankie, asking her if she did not, per chance, accidentally lose this? What a performance!

Ideally, and given the other ideas, the bench should be as "green" as practical. I say "as practical" because I think the ideal design will be a weather resistant wire mesh design. This will make it fast drying and graffiti resistant. But the final design must be made locally I think.

As to making this happen, I offer the following ideas:

The CSJ, as a registered tax exempt charitable organization could set up a special fund to collect donations.

Excess funds, if any, might be dedicated to perpetual maintenance. Alternately, excess funds might be administered to help destitute pilgrims who fall into serious difficulty while on Camino and need a grant to return home or for some other worthy purpose. Philip believed in putting others before himself and I eater suspect he would like this provision.

Forum members who live along the Camino would be the ideal folks to form an exploratory committee to coordinate with the CSJ or whoever is in custody of the funds. For propriety, This should be two distinct entities.

Lastly, if a Spanish bank account were established to receive the funds, it would be a relatively simple thing for interested persons, worldwide to transfer funds.

I am more than willing to participate in any way I can. Time and resources are not a limiting factor. However I do live in Virginia, in the U.S. So distance is a challenge.

All of this said - sorry for the length - I want to help with this if I can.

I am also glad to hear that Tim Wren and Philip's family are supporting this. It is a worthy tribute to him.

Buen Camino all!
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#13
If you can set up something through paypal it would be quite easy to raise funds. If anyone can get it rolling I'll be first in line to click over a donation.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#15
I'm in as well. I would appreciate an alternate method of payment besides paypal.

lynne
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
#16
I'd chip in. I agree that something practical would be fitting. However even something as simple as a tree grown in his memory with a little plaque or stone would leave something of Phil for future pilgrims to enjoy (and perhaps shade under).
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#18
I meet Philip last year in O'Cebreiro. He was close to ending his Camino this time--he had tickets to a big football game back home and didn't want to miss it. He also didn't want to stop walking so was torn. My Camino friends and I continued early the next day and we didn't see Philip again. He did respond to a posting that I put up about finishing my walk to Santiago and beyond (to Finisterre and Muxia) and was very kind to do so.

I would be very happy and honoured to help create a memorial to Philip, one of the lovely and dedicated pilgrims I had met, who returned again and again to walk the Camino.

I think the idea of a bench outside of the alberque in Logrono is a wonderful idea.

Please add me to the list and contact me when more solid details are arranged.

Cheers,
PEI_Heather
 
#19
timwren said:
I can't speak for all the family obviously but I for one would be very very in favour of something. My fiancé had suggested such an idea after dads funeral and I thought it would be a lovely thing to do. I fear I wouldn't know where to start is what popped into my mind.
I don't think you would find any objections from the rest of the family. If anything they will be touched by the mere suggestion of such a thought.
I am touched by the suggestion of a memorial in a place where dad loved. I would leave it upto tim as to what the final decision would be. A bench outside the refugio does sound a better idea than sitting on the floor. I am and I'm sure tim is open to any suggestions that you may have as I simply would not have a clue. I only suggest that any plaque would have the scallop shell on it as did wore his whilst leading service... :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#20
Jwren17 said:
timwren said:
I can't speak for all the family obviously but I for one would be very very in favour of something. My fiancé had suggested such an idea after dads funeral and I thought it would be a lovely thing to do. I fear I wouldn't know where to start is what popped into my mind.
I don't think you would find any objections from the rest of the family. If anything they will be touched by the mere suggestion of such a thought.
I am touched by the suggestion of a memorial in a place where dad loved. I would leave it upto tim as to what the final decision would be. A bench outside the refugio does sound a better idea than sitting on the floor. I am and I'm sure tim is open to any suggestions that you may have as I simply would not have a clue. I only suggest that any plaque would have the scallop shell on it as did wore his whilst leading service... :)
I started this thread as a fundraising idea and think that this is the correct way forward - it is the family, who have suffered the direct loss, who should decide ... it looks like it may be a bench then? I love that idea. I assume that a bench outside would come under the jurisdiction of the town council and that the link through to them would be via the staff at the refugio? Or the local fraternity? (which may be the same thing in the end). A bench is a simple thing - and a shell and plaque could be made in England to be attached before the installation - perhaps the plaque in English and Spanish?
If the family discuss this and choose what they would like I am sure that we could move this onwards. Would the family like a ceremony? A blessing by the local priest? These things are not difficult. I, for one, would definitely be there for an installation ceremony and blessing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#21
We are moving on I think - Navarricano - Curtis - lives in Pamplona, is bi-lingual and has kindly offered to help in any way he can.

- he wrote to me "I presume that the plans for the memorial are proceeding. If they are, and if you have not found anyone to give you a hand "on the ground" here already, please let me know."

He also says that family may pm him directly ... he has been busy at his school and missed the earlier posts but will be on here later.

For those that cannot place Curtis, he is the one who gave us all excellent those weather/safety updates when the Napoleon Pass was snowed out earlier this year.
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances 2013
Ingles 2014
Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017
Via Francegena 2018
#22
We are moving on I think - Navarricano - Curtis - lives in Pamplona, is bi-lingual and has kindly offered to help in any way he can.

- he wrote to me "I presume that the plans for the memorial are proceeding. If they are, and if you have not found anyone to give you a hand "on the ground" here already, please let me know."

He also says that family may pm him directly ... he has been busy at his school and missed the earlier posts but will be on here later.

For those that cannot place Curtis, he is the one who gave us all excellent those weather/safety updates when the Napoleon Pass was snowed out earlier this year.

Any further details David e.g. Paypal, family wishes, and also those of the local fraternity?
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#25
David,
From the date of the OP Phil passed away while we were away in the camper. My condolences to his family.
Count me in and please let me know when you organise the paypal account.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#26
Logroño is headquarters of the Spanish Federation of Amigos of the Camino de Santiago, their office is just down the street from the albergue. My only connections with them are via the hospitalero program, but I think they may be the place to start, rather than town councils.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#27
Well, Reb, ......... Logrono has that long paved path out of the city to that reserve with all the trees - how about calling that 'The Road Of Remeberance' and a tree can be planted along the path with a commemoration plaque for each pilgrim who has passed away on the Camino?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#29
I wrote directly to the family, via the son but never received a reply - so I am assuming (just guessing here) that either they do not want to go ahead or are doing something by themselves.
does anyone have any other information on this?
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#30
Whilst not familiar with Phil's story. I like the idea of an active memorial to him. The bench seems a practical way. Did he have an albergue that he had a particular attachment too?? If so that might be a good place to start. I am a member of CSJ so hopefully they will take up the idea and advise when we can donate. Cheers :cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#31
Saint Mike: Phil passed away in his sleep on either 1 or 2 May 2013 at the municipal albuerge in Logrono, the one with a narrow street out front and a very plain yellowish face wall.

The initial forum discussions were to place a memorial bench there. However, forward progress on determining the efficacy of this have not yet been made. Once someone can ascertain that: (2) the albuerge is amenable, (2) the city is agreeable; and (3) there is someone on the ground in the area who can coordinate this, we can proceed with arranging funding. Perhaps the CSJ (the Rev. Philip Wren was a VERY active member) could help with this.

Personally, given the location and narrow street out front, I have my misgivings about placing a memorial bench there. I was thinking that, as an alternative idea, perhaps a bench with a suitable plaque could be placed atop Alto de Perdon. I recall from our time there, that Phil loved that location, the view, and the ever present winds. A day or two before he passed, we spent time there taking pictures of one another with our respective cameras. We also sat for a while at the old fountain just before the summit of Alto de Perdon. He explained the significance during medieval times of the fountain to the Camino. I have the photos he snapped of me - from my camera - but none of him - from his camera. I hope the family got the camera back after everything they went through.

I have had some e-mail contact with one of his sons, but nothing lately.

I remain available to help and to contribute towards the cost of whatever the group decides is an appropriate memorial. Philip Wren was a remarkable person and he deserves to be remembered.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#32
t2andreo - thanks for the fill-in - and now that you have related the story I think I saw an earlier article. Given the problems with the albergue a bench up near the fountain - with a great view of the Camino sounds like the almost perfect spot. Will keep checking this site for new. Cheers..:)
 

annelise

Active Member
#33
David, I too would be glad to contribute to the cost of a memorial for Philip (Methodist Pilgrim). I dearly loved his posts, his lovely wry sense of humour, his insights, and his support to so many of us here - to me for one. I did, in fact, exchange a number of PM's with him. I even invited him and his wife to visit me in Denmark, but he wrote that because of health and insurance problem he would have to pass on that.

Annelise
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
#34
I am pleased MP is still alive in our thoughts, and I too want to be able to contribute to the memorial planned for him. ,My thanks go to those making it happen.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#35
We plant trees along the camino, on the meseta, we have three chestnuts going up this week, seeing as November is prime tree-planting time.
I could get a nice one and put it up in his honor out along the trail, seven-foot saplings are about 35 Euro. Depending on donation levels, we could get a stone carved to lay at the base.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#37
I like that, Rebekah. Can we then, independent of the family, but as members of the forum, come together and decide on a fitting memorial?

I like idea of the bench at his favourite viewpoint, I like the idea of a living tree with either a plaque or stone, and, yes, perhaps organising a bench within Logrono would be too difficult a thing, with municipal by-laws and so on.

Chestnut tree sounds nice, shade for the weary - but then, how about a tree that produced fruit that could be picked by passing pilgrims? A fig tree, or orange, apple etc?

Rebekah is on the ground, as it were, and we could send her our donations after we have decided (if Rebekah is willing, with all else she has on - and perhaps she would need to have a Paypal account?). She is one of us, she is honest, she is Christian (I believe), and she is caring.

Shall we move forward on this? If so, should we set up a new and fresh thread for all?
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#38
David/Reb, would you still need permission for a bench at the Alto de Perdon.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#39
I cannot handle Alto de Perdon things. I am too far away... I do believe that area is property of the power company that maintains the windmills up there.

I am not the bench person. I am the tree person.
Philip spent some time here last year, but he was having health problems and did not talk about much else. I do not know that the mid-meseta was a place he had special feelings for. I am only saying we have trees here, and places to plant them -- an easy and effective solution. (Alas, fruit trees need more shelter from the wind than this wide-open part of the camino provides, but I will take a look tomorrow and see if I can spot a sheltered location where at least a fig tree could survive.)

I have a Paypal account, the button is on my blog. In order to keep accounts, donors would need to specify the money is for the Wren Memorial. If we go ahead with this I will make a full accounting, far as I know how. Any leftover money I will donate to the federation (donativo) albergue in Calzadilla de los Hermanillos.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#42
Doug and Rebekah - please don't take this the wrong way - but ....

that is kind of Doug, to send you money for a tree - though, is this not a little hasty?

I think it is great that you are willing to plant a tree on the Meseta .. but .. well ... should we not talk about this first? Should it not be a decision from all members who wish to be involved and to contribute?

If the forum (members) decide to go ahead with a memorial should we not first have a full discussion about possibilities and then a consensus decision?

Or am I wrong? Am I too concerned about the concept of democracy and consensus within a forum or is it only me?

As it would appear that the forum will be going ahead without the family - our own personal tribute - should we not start a brand new thread specifically to decide what we would like to do to commemorate Methodist Pilgrim (Philip Wren) before just one or two of us actually go ahead?
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#43
I donated to the fund as a fund for Phils memorial, what form that takes I presume is up for group decision. Whatever is decided is fine with me.
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances 2013
Ingles 2014
Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017
Via Francegena 2018
#44
I donated to the fund as a fund for Phils memorial, what form that takes I presume is up for group decision. Whatever is decided is fine with me.
How did you specify it as Reb suggested to the Wren memorial fund, wayfarer ?Is it possible to do it on Paypal after you sign in the payment.
or did you just donate it to : Peaceable Kingdom and then PM Rebekah.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#45
Hi pilgrim b, I just donated to Peaceable Kingdom and PM'd Reb.
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances 2013
Ingles 2014
Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017
Via Francegena 2018
#46
Hi pilgrim b, I just donated to Peaceable Kingdom and PM'd Reb.

Thanks wayfarer I'm having probs with PM ing at the moment (appear to have no message box to type in) only got a box for the subject title !
Spent hours today after lunch trying to sort out what is wrong?
 
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Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#47
Pilgrim b, the posting thing seems to be related to both technology and luck. I have an issue with both my iPad and Mac that seems to be best solved by refreshing the page once it has loaded.

Back on the thread - if Reb is willing to take on this responsibility then may she be blessed. David, perhaps a little haste will lead to a resolution. Consensus on this forum may well be as achievable as the proverbial bucket full of rocking- horse s**t. I'll send a donation to Rebekah's PayPal. I trust her to expend it in the intention it was sent. We may even end up with a memorial avenue of trees, and how wonderful that would be. If the more challenging memorial proposals come to fruition then I will consider giving up whisky for another month. Meanwhile the thought of passing a tree or a forest planted in memorial of a true pilgrim is just another reason why I work and plan and hope for my next Camino.
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances 2013
Ingles 2014
Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017
Via Francegena 2018
#48
Thanks for the tip Tincatinker I am, on Mac book, it finally gave me a box to contact Reb in the end. After I logged off and returned later to the forum.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#50
@David, I work in an environment when it can take a decade to get a good idea from inception to fruition, and many good ideas don't survive this process. If Rebekah plants a tree, and I promise not to visit with my black thumb for a while, by the time I walk the CF again, there will be something there that celebrates Phil Wren's pilgrim persona. There might be a nice shady spot somewhere, even if it ends up in Rebekah's garden, to welcome pilgrims for years to come. It will say there was a man who offered all of us on this forum wonderful advice whose last living moments were on a pilgrimage. It will say that his life and his passing affected all of us, even if we only knew him through this forum. It will say that we don't want to forget those wonderful contributions he made to our lives through this forum, and he lives on through that. Of course, some people will just see a shady tree:).

Other than that, I thank Tincatinker for his response - he has captured my sentiments on this matter.

Doug and Rebekah - please don't take this the wrong way - t but ....

that is kind of Doug, to send you money for a tree - though, is this not a little hasty?

David, perhaps a little haste will lead to a resolution. Consensus on this forum may well be as achievable as the proverbial bucket full of rocking- horse s**t. I'll send a donation to Rebekah's PayPal. I trust her to expend it in the intention it was sent. We may even end up with a memorial avenue of trees, and how wonderful that would be. If the more challenging memorial proposals come to fruition then I will consider giving up whisky for another month. Meanwhile the thought of passing a tree or a forest planted in memorial of a true pilgrim is just another reason why I work and plan and hope for my next Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#51
Some call it hasty. Others call it "can-do." I do not think anyone would object to a tree with a little slate plaque at its base. We take our chances with either item withstanding rough weather or abuse, but then again... which of us has living memory of any of the fallen pilgrims currently memorialized along the Way?

The next part is hashing out what to say on the plaque. Do we have the correct spelling of his name, and the date of his passing? I was thinking of something like:
The Rev. Philip Wren
"Methodist Pilgrim" of (hometown)
ended his Camino journey
---date ---

... or should we do it in Spanish?
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#53
Rebekah: I sent you a PM / conversation. At least I HOPE it was private on this subject. I had a similar take on what a memorial plaque might read. My idea was:

Rev. Philip John Wren
"Methodist Pilgrim"
of (Town or City), England
Began his Eternal Camino
at Logrono on (date) May 2013

Phil had been on the Camino Frances 10 or 11 ties depending on who who speak to. He told me, and others during the week I knew him in late April, and starting at Orisson, that once he reached Logrono he would have completed the entire Camino Frances three times. He told me that, from there, he was headed "home." We were not to know at the time, but he did end his earthly Camino, starting his Camino to his Eternal Home on his passing at the municipal albuergue in Logrono...what a way to make one's exit. I think of him often and continue to be amazed...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#54
I apologize to those who think I have acted pre-emptively by donating to Peaceable Kingdom so that a tree can be planted. It was not my intent to curtail the discussion on what might be a suitable memorial, nor do I think it should.

Regards
 
#58
I think Johnnie's name is a small clue. But he gave up life in London for one in Santiago. Visit him in the Pilgrim's office if he is working when you are there. I personally have no problem with something positive already in motion. I don't think it pre-empts any other memorial gesture.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
#61
I was not involved in this discussion, but I’ve followed with interest this thread regarding what type of memorial will be best for Methodist Pilgrim (Phil) – whether to go with a tree or a bench. I was very pleased when the focus shifted towards a tree. I say this because I have serious reservations as regards a bench.

You see, when I did my Camino in the spring of this year and I came upon the Belgium Pilgrim’s memorial bench at the outskirts of the town (the name of which now escapes me) I was appalled, shocked rather, at the amount of garbage strewn around the bench; I find it so incredibly disrespectful. I can only presume it was the pilgrims who availed themselves of the comfort of the bench to rest, and picnic, and they saw fit to leave their garbage where they rested. Fortunately, between my Camino companion and me, we had sufficient bags to clean up the mess and we disposed of the bags in the next town – which, by the way, was just meters down the trail, with garbage receptacles within clear view of the memorial bench. I could not help but feel that if a bench were to be erected as a memorial to Phil, the surrounding area would have become just another repository for garbage left by pilgrims who ‘rested’ there.

Now that it seems that the decision has been made to plant a tree, or trees, as a memorial to Phil my concerns have been allayed.

Still, I feel I must plead with the powers that be that until such time that there is a major shift in pilgrims’ attitudes towards leaving their garbage along the trail, and where they rest and picnic (which time, hopefully, will arrive sooner rather than later) that very serious consideration be given before a decision is made to erect a bench as a memorial to any pilgrim. ……..IMHO
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
#62
Good point Charlesx.
Sad to say it is an issue that needs to be considered.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#65
By the way, I am in process of ordering a small stone to set at the base of the tree. Space is very limited -- there is no stone quarry in this neighborhood and it has to be shipped in, so I am keeping it "small and discrete." Text is:
In Memorium
Rev. Philip Wren
`Methodist Pilgrim´
died May 2013
on the Way

If anyone has any objections, additions, corrections, etc. Tell me NOW.
Thank you all for your kindness and generosity. I sent word to Tim Wren, but have heard nothing back.

I am meeting with a couple of neighbors this afternoon re: where is the best place to plant.
Reb.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#68
A quick accounting as of 10 Nov. 2013:
Eleven people have donated $350 total.
I sent a deposit of $112 to the stonecutters. We will finalize the order tomorrow.
Going to the tree nursery tomorrow, will consult there re: which trees do best in local conditions.
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
#71
Three more donors.
I finalized the stone order today, they will not start cutting til next week. This might take a while, guys...
I will post updates here as things progress, if you are interested.
Thanks Rebekah.
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances 2013
Ingles 2014
Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017
Via Francegena 2018
#72
Three more donors.
I finalized the stone order today, they will not start cutting til next week. This might take a while, guys...
I will post updates here as things progress, if you are interested.
Thanks Rebekah for all your doing for us.
 

supersullivan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago 2012. SJPP-Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia 2013. Ponferrada-Santiago June 2014. Leon-Santiago-Finisterre September 2014. April-May 2015: SJPP- S de C- Finisterre -Muxia- S de C.
#73
Rebekah, to my shame I have only just come across the sad news, a donation has just been made, if you've already reached the amount needed to cover the cost of the tree and memorial stone then please use your own judgement as to how to put the donation to an appropriate use.

Seamus
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#76
Thanks to Mendi for his/her kindness. And thanks to all of you for a true outpouring of generosity. The stone is being made up in Wales. I am afraid the hard frosts have begun here, we shall have to wait til April to plant Philip´s tree and sink the stone, alas! But we have more than enough money to plant a substantial young tree when the time comes. I will consult with smart people meantime on the best tree type and site, but for now it looks like it will be at Villa Oreja, a little layby along the camino where Peaceable already maintains a small labyrinth, which the Camino Cleanup Crew will soon re-dig and renovate.

We have more than enough money now to cover all the costs. If you wish to contribute in memory of Philip Wren/Methodist Pilgrim, please consider a donation to this board, where Phil did a good bit of quiet ministry.

Like we say back in Pittsburgh: You guys rock!
 
Camino(s) past & future
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C/M: 2016
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Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#77
Thank YOU Rebekah for this kindness and for all you do to support the Camino, this Forum, and passing pilgrims. I plan to do another trip along the Camino Frances this May and intend to overnight at Moratinos, likely at the hostal around the corner. I have not yet made date-specific plans or any travel reservations. I will have to wait to do my income taxes before I do that.

But I am stopping there Moratinos and "the Peaceable: to meet you, to see the tree(s), and to pay my respects to you and the late Rev. Phil. Let me know when you are planning the tree planting. Depending on optimum planting times and my schedule, I might be able to be there. I would sincerely like to meet you, your better half and see the Camino through your lens.

Thank you again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#79
UPDATE: A local family has given us a corner of their rye field for tree-planting purposes, right along the camino but out of the way of passing tractors. They recommend we plant an encina, a holm oak -- it´s a tough native specie that takes minimal care, will hold up to the weather and wind, and has evergreen foliage.

When you pass through Moratinos, stop in at the Castillo Bar for a cold one...the brothers who run it are the owners of the field.
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
#81
Rebekah, I have not been on the Forum in a long time and noticed your tree project today.
I want to be part of this!!!!!
So some money is on the way via PayPal.
I miss Phil and want to honour him and a tree (or a forest :)) in his name seems to be the right thing to do.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
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C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
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Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#82
Rebekah: The more I think about this, the more committed to it I become. I have a further suggestion for the forum community, writ large. It affects you too, so I am addressing this to you, but sharing it generally.

The tiny (VERY) town of Moratinos recently lost the sole weekly Catholic Mass at Saint Thomas Church when Fr. Don Santiago suffered a stroke. From your blog, it appears unlikely he will be able to return to active ministry, let alone the hectic pace he was following before his illness. However, that Mass, the Church and the weekly gathering of virtually everyone in the tiny town provided a sense of community that will now dissipate over time.

I fear that what will happen is that the local community will slowly drift into "ghost town" status, like so many Camino towns and villages. Once the Church goes, the communities tend to drift into a defunct status.

So, I was thinking that something might be needed to keep Moratinos on the map - or put it there as it does not show on many maps. What I was thinking of also builds on a comment I read in an earlier post regarding memorial trees on the Camino.

My idea goes like this: as the Meseta is flat and largely treeless, and whereas Moratinos is approximately in the middle between Roncesvalles and Santiago de Compostela, it seems a logical place to place something that might actually draw pilgrims. What about expanding the Rev. Phil memorial Tree to two rows (eventually) of the same sort of tree, one on each side of the road?

Each tree would commemorate one pilgrim who passed away while on the Camino, initially ANYWHERE along the Camino Frances. This means researching and documenting all those individual trail-side shrines people placed to commemorate the precise spot of the person's passing. However, nearly all those deaths are documented either online, with the various Camino groups, or through the local authorities.

Eventually, once we are up to date with all the known and documented deaths along the Camino Frances, including the folks who made it to Santiago but expired almost immediately thereafter, I would support expanding this first to all documented passing along ANY Camino, followed by people who wanted to plant a tree in memory of a loved one who previously walked a Camino but who later passed away elsewhere.

I was thinking of calling it the "Pilgrim's Memorial Walk and Garden." Initially, finances permitting, we could get a jump start by planting perhaps a dozen trees or more on the SOUTH side of the Camino path to commemorate all those people already named on the individual memorials all along the Camino Frances, or in advance of requests - stock on hand - or in the ground as the case might be.

As pilgrims approach Moratinos, they would be sheltered by the shade of the trees (eventually). As the number of trees increased and engraved plaques added, the word would spread and people would make it a point to see the "Camino Memorial." The increased attention would help the local economy and appreciation for the Meseta. Over time, amenities might be added to benefit pilgrims. As there is little else in the nearby area accessible on foot, this is a good idea I think.

So, what does everyone think? Is this an idea that deserves additional discussion, or simply not worth it? I am trying to find a clever, creative way to help the people of Moratinos and its economy, add interest to the Camino Frances in that area, benefit pilgrims, and take the idea wherever it might go in future. If David can run "House of the Gods" just outside (east of) Astorga, I think this is worth a serious thought. But, it is just one idea...

Let's try to come up with constructive suggestions for how something like this might work and what would be needed to make it work. I can pledge my time and resources. I have more time than money, but whatever it takes... Right now I am planning to be in the area in the mid-May time frame. I discussed this with you in PM. We will see what transpires between now and then.

I just keep reminding myself that, not only does Saint James work in sometimes very mysterious and frequently strange ways, but the Camino always seems to provide. So, prove me wrong...;)

Everyone, Happy Saint Nicholas Day! (a tad early)
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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Ingles 2014
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#84
@t2andreo, perhaps your latest suggestion deserves being discussed as a new thread. I would prefer to see the matter of getting a memorial for @methodist.pilgrim.98 brought to a successful conclusion here without it getting lost in a broader discussion.
That makes good sense Dougfitz I agree.
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#85
I do not disagree. I will leave it up to Rebekah. But I do not mind making this a separate conversation, or even taking it into a PM. The idea just sort of popped into my mind. Since retiring, I've learned to act on a thought as soon as I have it, as it all too frequently gets lost...;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#86
Andreo, I just now found your idea and comments on this thread!
It is very generous and thoughtful of you.
Like the others said, I will first get the Rev. Phil tree planted, see how it goes over with the neighbors, then move forward with other ideas. It occurred to me to plant a grove of trees here in Moratinos as a memorial to fallen pilgrims, but the land alongside the camino is ditched cropland, there is little margin to plant anything. In 2009 the junta did a big tree-planting project and dug them into the ditch-sides, with very mixed success. The land here is heavy clay. Most of the trees did not survive the subsequent neglect. (you get a grant to plant trees, everyone says Yay. But ask for a grant to maintain them, and it´s WHAT??)
I think a memorial grove would require private land. I have my eye on a particular camino-adjacent parcel, but I need to find out if it´s for sale, and how much -- I am studying permaculture these days, and this would be a fine project. Families, friends of fallen pilgrims could donate to plant a tree and set a standard marker there, and extra funds could finance ongoing maintenance and improvements.

One upshot of the current tree interest is, the Junta Vecinal (neighborhood association) of Moratinos is undertaking to improve, replant, and transplant the trees in the plaza mayor. Last weekend we put in six chestnut saplings and a sort of Japanese Maple -- not in anyone´s memory, however. (The plaza doesn´t get the brunt of the wind, so we could plant early there. Phil´s tree will go in a much more exposed spot, so I am waiting.)

BTW, Mass is back in Moratinos, at least three times a week.
Thanks, people, for your support.
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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Ingles 2014
Frances 2015
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#87
Thanks for the update on your thoughts for a memorial grove Rebekah, I am also so pleased to hear Mass is back in Moratinos as I am sure you will be.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
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#88
Andreo, I just now found your idea and comments on this thread!
It is very generous and thoughtful of you.
Like the others said, I will first get the Rev. Phil tree planted, see how it goes over with the neighbors, then move forward with other ideas. It occurred to me to plant a grove of trees here in Moratinos as a memorial to fallen pilgrims, but the land alongside the camino is ditched cropland, there is little margin to plant anything. In 2009 the junta did a big tree-planting project and dug them into the ditch-sides, with very mixed success. The land here is heavy clay. Most of the trees did not survive the subsequent neglect. (you get a grant to plant trees, everyone says Yay. But ask for a grant to maintain them, and it´s WHAT??)
I think a memorial grove would require private land. I have my eye on a particular camino-adjacent parcel, but I need to find out if it´s for sale, and how much -- I am studying permaculture these days, and this would be a fine project. Families, friends of fallen pilgrims could donate to plant a tree and set a standard marker there, and extra funds could finance ongoing maintenance and improvements.

One upshot of the current tree interest is, the Junta Vecinal (neighborhood association) of Moratinos is undertaking to improve, replant, and transplant the trees in the plaza mayor. Last weekend we put in six chestnut saplings and a sort of Japanese Maple -- not in anyone´s memory, however. (The plaza doesn´t get the brunt of the wind, so we could plant early there. Phil´s tree will go in a much more exposed spot, so I am waiting.)

BTW, Mass is back in Moratinos, at least three times a week.
Thanks, people, for your support.
Rebekah:

I start from St. Jean on 27 April. The transportation tickets are all sorted. I fly to Paris on 24 April. Then spend two nights at St. Jean.

Once I have a better idea of when I might arrive at Moratinos I will PM you. We can exchange e-mail or phone numbers. I use a Belgian SIM card when I travel out of the U.S.

See you soon(ish...):)
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#89
UPDATE: I found the tree today. It is not an encina -- those you need to grow on site from tiny acorns, they don't transplant well and I think we want a good, mature tree for this project.

So I got the most healthy, strong tree I could see at the vivero that would suit the climate and not require major excavation on my part! It is a horse chestnut tree about 3 meters tall, well branched and budded already, roots balled-up and ready to plant. The town has a JCB front-end loader here to install the new septic system, I hope I can convince the operator to take a side job tomorrow because I am temporarily out of the digging business. The tree will arrive Friday, we will plant it straight away as the weather is forecast good.

I have the plaque, we will install that once the roots are set and the temps. are high enough for concrete to work well... maybe when Tom is here?
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#91
Reb, thank you, thank you very much for accepting the responsibility so many of us placed on you and thank you for seeing it through. And thanks to those passing pilgrims.

I hope to be passing through some time in late May. It will be a sad and glorious moment to remember Philip at his tree.
 

indyinmaine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
#92
This is a long thread. Whether it's a tree or bench or both count me in and let me know,
 
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#93
Tree planted today, with help from two anonymous pilgrims. Photos to come.
http://moratinoslife.blogspot.com.es/
Rebekah. You must be one special lady! I just read the blog spot you quoted and loved your description of the tree planting. Have you mentioned exactly where the tree is planted? Ps. I will check out your book too , it caught my eye!
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#95
Hola Rebekah,
Tears in the eyes (laughing & crying) as I read your report on the tree planting.
I thought it so appropriate that 2 unnamed pilgrims helped with the planting, sort of representative of those "Methodist Pilgrim" helped along the way.
Rebekah, thank you for doing this on our behalf, looking forward to pics of the tree & Phil's plaque, when the time is right.
Buen Camino
Colin
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#97
Rebekah: I depart St. Jean on 27 April. Once I get into Spain and have a better sense of my pace and the weather, I will contact you. I have your "rebrites..." e-mail address. Will that work for direct e-mail contact?

Also, does your phone number still end in ...1016? I scrounged that from the web.

In either event, I can plan to remain as long as you need to get this done properly. I am not a mason, but I neither a stranger to grunt work. I can mix concrete with the best.

I will adjust my pace accordingly. But a couple of days can be carved out of my itinerary as needed. You would know better than me how long it would take to walk to you, but I am thinking somewhere around 10 -15 May. I am not adverse to leap-frogging by bus if needs must...

Just a BTW, I am still waiting to hear if I will be serving as an Amigo during June at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago. Decisions to be made at the end of March. However, that will not affect me getting to Moratinos or Santiago by the end of May, in time to serve as a volunteer.

I am glad this is all coming together.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#98
Tom I will PM you.
Things are very fluid here. Believe it or not I am pretty good with concrete myself... if I get a willing navvie here soon I might go ahead and set the plaque and "get er done," as they say in your country.

For those interested, the tree is up on the berm on the right side of the camino between Terradillos de Templarios and Moratinos, about 10 km. east of Sahagún. Once you cross the little Rio Templarios bridge with the labyrinth and grove, you may spot the tree almost to the top of the next rise. There´s an aluminum pole near to it, we left that in case the tree needs support against the wind.
Someone´s tied a ribbon in the branches. I hope pilgrims remember this is a farmer´s field, and show due respect for the crops growing there.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
This from Philip Wren´s son:

On behalf of the Wren family in England we would like to humbly thank everyone involved in the effort to plant a tree in memory of my father Philip. His mother has asked me to say many thanks to those who have donated, help plan, plant or in anyway helped to make this happen. The things said of him on the forum and anyone we have been contacted by have always been in the highest regards and we are truly blessed to know that he has touched so many peoples lives. I cannot express anymore gratitude just that this is truly a blessing and that in a way it's comforting to know that he has left a part of his legacy here with us. I hope pilgrims who pass by stop and take in the beautiful scenery and will find there own way.

Jonathan Wren
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
Linley Jenkins In Memoriam 10
Rebekah Scott In Memoriam 33
natefaith In Memoriam 13
ivar In Memoriam 65

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