” … Who, hath established His Home in this wonderful place. Ave Ave Ave Maria! Ave Ave Ave Maria!”

So rang out the words of the Walsingham Pilgrimage Hymn as the ACC Parish of Our Lady of Walsingham and St Francis, Rochester, began their patronal celebration with the annual procession in honour of Our Lady. Usually celebrated on a Saturday falling between 4th October (St Francis’ Feast Day) and 15th October (Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham), this year Saturday 6th October was chosen.

The Bishop celebrated the Mass and the Parish Priest, the Venerable Raymond Thompson, preached. During the Mass the Bishop blessed and consecrated Holy Oil Stocks and a Pyx. Both were gifts to the new Curate, The Rev Dr Jonathan Munn who was deaconed last week. The service was well attended and the children present, especially, enjoyed the procession. After Mass folk enjoyed a bring and share picnic lunch and the Bishop tucked in to a cake specially made for him by Fr Thompson’s son-in-law Matthew Farrant.