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Parish Pilgrimage to Walsingham 2017

     

Our annual parish pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham took place this year from Monday 22 to Friday 26 May, with 12 pilgrims.

The timetable started off with a Mass and Blessing of Pilgrims in St Matthew’s Lady Chapel at 9.30am. Then setting off in private cars, with a lunch stop en route, we arrived at Walsingham in the early afternoon. First stop was the Slipper Chapel, the Roman Catholic Shrine, where we said a short prayer. At the Anglican Shrine we had our First Visit to the Holy House at 4.30pm, assembling at the Shrine Church after depositing cases in rooms, and we all went in together. Afterwards there was free time to unpack and look round the Shrine and the village before we met up again for Evening Prayer followed by Supper in the refectory at 6.30pm. At 8.00pm we all met in the Milner Wing lounge for a social evening.

Each day had a structured programme of events, with pilgrims free to join in as much or as little as they liked – attendance at everything is not compulsory! Every day we had Buffet Breakfast from 8.00am, Morning Prayer at 9.00am and a Mass. Most afternoons after Lunch there was free time until Evening Prayer at 5.30pm, followed by Supper. On Tuesday afternoon we had intercessions in the Holy House, where we prayed for the Parish and all the congregation who had asked for our prayers. On Wednesday afternoon we followed the Stations of the Cross around the Shrine grounds. Certain days had certain Shrine events – on Tuesday evening the Sprinkling at the Well followed by Ministries of Healing, Laying on of Hands and Anointing and on Wednesday a Pilgrim Mass in the morning and in the evening the Candlelight Procession of Our Lady followed by Benediction.

The Shrine exudes a feeling of peace and it’s easy to sit in the lovely gardens and enjoy the quietness and the birds singing and not be conscious of other people. This year the weather was wonderful and we could spend time in the gardens.

An important part of the Pilgrimage, going as a parish group, is the social aspect and it gives us a chance to get to know each other better and let our hair down. With free time every day there’s a chance to walk round the village, visit the Slipper Chapel again, go to the Norton Room, travel outside the village to the sea or other towns nearby, or just have a rest. And of course, there’s the local pub, where we all congregated for our last evening’s social gathering.

Friday arrived and our last morning before departure was celebrated with the Last Visit to the Holy House. All liturgies throughout the week are laid out in the Pilgrimage Manual which we all individually have with us. A Parish Pilgrimage is arranged every year from St Matthew’s, normally in May or June. Next year’s Pilgrimage will be from Monday 21 to Friday 25 May.

Please find below a selection of photos.
 
       
       
       

 
     

 
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