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Parish Pilgrimage to Walsingham

The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, in North Norfolk, was a centre for pilgrimage from 1061. Destroyed in the Reformation, it was revived by Catholics in 1897. Anglicans followed in 1922 with their own centre. In 1934 Catholics dedicated the 14th century Slipper Chapel as their Shrine: this was once the last stop on the pilgrim route to Walsingham. In 1981 Cardinal Hume blessed a new church, the Chapel of Reconciliation, which receives thousands of pilgrims each year.

St Richard's pilgrimage in May 2006 is recalled by Maria Whitehouse and Patsy Cox. Photographs were taken by Roger Johnson.

"Forty of us arrived in Walsingham in brilliant sunshine at about 3 p.m. We went straight to the shrine to participate in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction and Evening Prayer.

Immediately we were immersed in the peace and holiness found by the many thousands of pilgrims over the centuries.

The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham stands on the left of the altar in the Slipper Chapel.

The Holy Ghost Chapel is next to the Slipper Chapel.

Then onto the village and Elmham House, a large guesthouse run by the Catholic Pilgrim Bureau.

A short time to settle in, explore, sort out mixed-up bags, then a good dinner in the dining room followed by our service of Anointing of the Sick and Night Prayer.

The day ended with a nightcap in the Black Lion next door.

Thursday morning began with Morning Prayer in Friars Quire with the other pilgrims before we returned for a cooked breakfast to strengthen us for our walk to the shrine. We assembled outside Elmham House.

The statue was bolted onto a platform and carried by four of us in turn, preceded by the cross and followed by our parish banner and all pilgrims who wished to walk or be pushed the mile from the village to the shrine.

We prayed the rosary, led by Fr. Kieron, as we walked and enjoyed the glory of the day and the beautiful countryside.

The bell rang to welcome us as we arrived at the shrine. Then we had some time for private prayer, confession, stations of the cross, refreshments and the bookshop.

Our pilgrimage culminated with the Angelus and Mass at 12 o’clock which Fr. Kieron concelebrated. We finished with a picnic in the sunshine before we boarded the coach to return to Chichester, spiritually refreshed and enriched by our companionship. The journey was by coach with Woods Coaches, Bognor and made easier by the thoughtfulness and patience of Eddie our driver.

There have been many requests for another, longer pilgrimage and we may go in September 2007 for 2 nights – details will be in the Parish Bulletin."

The Event 2007

Lunches Thursdays 1-3pm

You are welcome in the lower parish room for a light lunch and a talk/demonstration.

Coffee Mornings Fridays 10.15 am

Coffee,biscuits and a short film

Details are in the parish newsletter every month one or two weeks beforehand.

Transport is provided – phone Maria 782837

If you have any queries or suggestions for trips or speakers please speak to Maria on 782837