Johnniewalker is retired and lives in Santiago. He has so far written 15 books about the Camino to Santiago including a range of guidebooks and three Spiritual Companions for pilgrims. In his professional career he was founding Director for Scotland for the National Lottery Charities Board, Chief of Staff to the First Minister of Scotland and founding Chief Executive of UnLtd the UK wide Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs which was awarded the Millenium Legacy of £100 million.
Stephen Shields works in the field of educational support for disadvantaged children in the UK, where he has also been a church cantor for over 40 years. He is a Trustee of the charity SHINE, of which he was the founding Chief Executive. Semi-retired, Stephen walks to Santiago as often every year as he can. He also sings in church when he is there. His early career was as a social worker, working with young single homeless. After this he studied philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Universities of Rome and Salamanca, before being ordained a Catholic priest.
Kate Stephens is from Dallas, Texas and works as a consultant in the mortgage industry and worked on the Making Home Affordable program with the U.S. Department of the Treasury after the U.S. housing crisis in 2008. Kate met Johnniewalker on her first Camino in 2007. There is a story to be told about that meeting. Keeping in touch over the years, Johnnie and Kate met up on each of her Caminos since.
Having completed five Caminos, Kate plans to volunteer much of the 2021 Holy Year as a Hospitalera, her way of giving back to the Camino experience. She has a long background in volunteering having volunteered in nursing homes, as a Girl Scout Summer Camp Leader, and with Challenge Air, a program that lets children with special needs fly an airplane, helping them realise “the impossible to be much more probable”. Fun fact, Kate travelled the Camino with her father three times and her mother once and encourages everyone to walk a Camino with a family member at least once.
Sean Hampton was the very first volunteer in the Pilgrims’ Office in Santiago when the Amigos Welcome Service was launched in 2012. He is a veteran pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago and has collaborated with Johnnie many times by producing maps for his guidebooks. Sean and his family are frequent visitors to Galicia. They have family connections to Verín and they have all walked the Camino. Sean is an IT specialist as well as being a keyboard player in a rock band! He will make this pilgrimage virtually and will post as the other three walk along the Way.