A pilgrimage is journey in faith to a holy place. Making a pilgrimage is spiritually beneficial and brings us closer to God.
People make a pilgrimage for a variety of reasons: to deepen their faith, to seek healing, to find an answer to a question, because they are curious, or to make a fresh start. Pilgrimages allow us to take time out of our busy lives and creates space for prayer, reflection and refreshment. It is also a great way to spend time with and get to know people from church with little distraction.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham
The Parish makes several pilgrimages to the Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk. It is a holy place of National Significance because in medieval times Richeldis de Faverches, the lady of the manor, was taken to the home of Mary in Nazareth where the Angel promised Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. In this vision, Richeldis was asked by Mary to build an exact replica of her house in Nazareth which is why Walsingham is known as England’s Nazareth. This house is called the Holy House and reminds us of the truth that God is not distant from us but became incarnate and shares our life. Walsingham is a beautiful place where we can meet with God. There is a Holy Well there which pilgrims can drink from as a sign of God’s love and healing.
Many Christians visit Walsingham for the National Pilgrimage, held on the Spring Bank Holiday in May. This is a day-long event that takes place in the Abbey grounds and begins with a Mass, followed by a Sermon, Procession and Benediction. There is a transport from the parish on the day and all are welcome to join us.
In early November we go to Walsingham for a full week programme. Parishioners meet with other pilgrims from across the country and stay in the beautiful accommodation at the Shrine. This all-inclusive weekend is a great time away. Open to all members of the parish, we also have a bursary scheme for those who might find the cost of going prohibitive – because we believe that everyone should be able to go to Walsingham (please just speak to Fr Stuart or John Hillman). It’s a Holy place where the Gospel is always to the fore.
Fr. Michael Rear (one-time Vicar of Walsingham and Friar James Mary McInerney OFM (former Rector of the Roman Catholic Shrine of OLW) relate the history and deep spiritual significance of the foundation of the Holy House in Walsingham. Copyright EWTN England.
Our emphasis is on sacramental worship (the Mass or Holy Eucharist) celebrated in a traditional Anglo-Catholic style, with strong orthodox teaching and preaching, supportive pastoral care, a caring parish family, and responsibility to our community and the greater world.
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