Resident sends heartfelt letter following cancellation of Padgate Walking Day

Padgate Walking Day 2022 <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Padgate Walking Day 2022 (Image: Newsquest)

A PADGATE resident has sent an urgent letter to councillors and Church Together members expressing ‘extreme disappointment’ following the news that Padgate Walking Day will no longer go ahead.

Emily Wood, a ‘lifelong’ resident of the Padgate area, addressed the controversial decision made by the churches to cancel the event which has been an age-old tradition for more than 100 years.

Church Together, organisers of the event, which sees school children join with the local churches to walk and parade the streets of Padgate and Woolston, announced the decision in a letter yesterday, Thursday.

The letter stated that due to a lack of volunteers and concerns of safeguarding, it could not go ahead on the proposed date of June 22.

And since the announcement, an overwhelming response from residents has been seen across Warrington – with many offering their time to volunteer for the event.

Resident, Emily Wood, echoed the thoughts of many in a compelling letter addressed to councillors, the Church Together members, and police and crime commissioner of Cheshire.

The letter began: “I am writing to express my profound regret and disappointment regarding the cancellation of this year's Padgate Walking Day, a cherished community event that has been held annually since around 1903.

“It is disheartening to learn that safety concerns have led to this decision, especially given that no call for assistance or volunteers was made to the community outside of Church members.

“Whilst this is an event deeply rooted within our church and schools, it transcends all aspects of faith and divisions of society.”

Emily spoke of her own memories as a child, walking with St Oswald’s Primary School, and how saddening it would be to see the younger generations of her family unable to experience this too.

She continued: “Padgate Walking Day is more than just an event; it is a tradition that brings together residents of all ages, fostering a sense of community and continuity that spans generations.

“For over a century, this day has been a highlight in our local calendar, providing an opportunity for families, friends, and neighbours to celebrate together. Its cancellation represents a significant loss to our community spirit and cohesion.

“While the safety of participants is, of course, paramount, I believe that with proper community involvement, the event could have proceeded safely this year.

“It is particularly concerning that the decision to cancel was made without reaching out to anyone within the local community for support.

“I am confident that many residents, including myself, would have been willing to volunteer our time and resources to ensure the walk’s safety and success.”

The resident offered advice on ‘considering engaging with the community’ before making the decision in the future’, exploring more ‘comprehensive safety plans’ and enhancing communication channels between the local authorities and residents.

She added: “I hope that by working together, we can prevent the cancellation of beloved events like Padgate Walking Day in the future and hope it can move forward this year.

“It is my sincere belief that our community has the strength and willingness to support such events, ensuring they continue to thrive safely.”

Poulton North councillor Sue Emery has requested an emergency meeting with the church committee and has called on any residents who wish to volunteer to contact her at