Anglican Catholic Church

Northern Deanery Pilgrimage Blessed (May 2012)

On Pilgrimage 2012

Stations of the Cross

Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham

Guild of All Souls Chapel

Pilgrims from the Northern Deanery Parishes of Bolton, Salford and Whitby spent three days on pilgrimnage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, Norfolk from 15th-18th May, 2012. The pilgrimage was led by Father Howard Marsh (Our Lady & Str Edward, Bolton) and Dom Philip-James French OSB, (St Ninian, Whitby).

Fr Marsh writes:

"We had agreed in advance that as we were all making our own way to Walsingham. We should all try to be in the fountain courtyard for the First Visit at 4pm on the Tuesday. As the afternoon progressed more and more members of the party arrived, and by 3-30pam all had made it. We could proceed as planned.

For many of us this First Visit was the first of many made over the years, but to stand at the Annunciation Chapel and move into the Holy House is a very moving experience be it for the first or hundredth time. The party stood together and prayed that our Pilgrimage would bring peace and blessings to our world and that individually we would be drawn nearer to our Lord.

Sprinkling was at 8-15 that evening, and the service was beautifully constructed and led by the Administrator-Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS.

Our first Mass on the Wednesday morning was at 8am in the Guild of All Souls Chapel. Fr. Howard vested in the Sacristy of the Shrine and celebrated a Requiem Mass.

Stations of the Cross in the grounds was booked for 10.30am and then a trip to Wells next the Sea followed giving some the chance of a fish n chip lunch. Back to Walsingham for the walk to the Slipper Chapel and Chapel of Reconciliation.

Back just in time for the Sacristy meeting at which the plans for the evening's torchlight procession were discussed. We volunteered 3 of our party to assist in the Procession- Br Peter Smith Obl/OSB to be one of the two Image Bearers and Joan Mather and Ruth Yates to be Lantern Bearers to Our Lady.

Fr Philip and I joined the clergy procession. For those who had not seen this Procession before, it really was one of the highlights of our stay.

On the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord, Fr Philip celebated Mass at 8am in the Guild Chapel. We had planned our Last Visit (Bolton & Salford) for 10.15 and joined a Parish from Preston for this service. Whitby were staying another day and had their Last Mass and Last Visit Visit on the Friday.

We were afforded every courtesy that is was possible for the Shrine Authorities to offer. The goodwill and friendship were both tangibly felt by us all and although I have been going to Walsingham since I was a mere lad- rather more years ago than I could possibly recall, this was the best so far without a shadow of a doubt.

This truly is England's Nazareth and we felt priviliged to be there. We pray we may return next year- keep the dates in mind -14/15/16 May 2013."