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To be a Pilgrim - R.E. with some History; suitable for Year 2 to 6
The aim of this full day programme is to introduce the concept of pilgrimage as a Christian religious activity, both in the past and in the present day. We give children a sense of the history of pilgrimage to Walsingham by including a visit to the site of the original shrine (1061 to 1538) as well as the modern (1931) Anglican Shrine, where they can experience some of the activities available to 21st century pilgrims.
In order to link historical with contemporary pilgrimage, each child is given a small bag in which to carry various items they will collect during their visit to the original shrine site (a pilgrim badge, small bottle for water from the Holy Well and a candle); they will also have the opportunity to write their own prayers. Depending on numbers, it is sometimes possible for the children to dress in medieval costume.
After a picnic lunch in the beautiful grounds of the Anglican Shrine (in one of the classrooms if wet) we explore the new Shrine, learning about what pilgrims do today. We sing the pilgrim hymn and walk in procession around the garden to the church. Children leave their prayers in the Holy House, have a chance to light their candles and fill their bottles with some of the well water.
The programme usually finishes with the opportunity to join regular pilgrims at the short service of Sprinkling at the Holy Well. The children take home their souvenir bag.
This programme can be adapted to include specific material on Medieval or Tudor life; Medieval/Tudor ‘banquet’ is available on request.
Walsingham Church Trail - suitable for Year 4 to 6
This programme, while still focusing on pilgrimage, also aims to introduce children to Christian denominations. It involves a morning visit to three of the churches in the village (Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Methodist) where we look at differences in beliefs, architecture and styles of worship. After a picnic lunch in the beautiful grounds of the Anglican Shrine (in one of the classrooms if wet) we explore the new Shrine, learning about what pilgrims do today. The children are allowed to light candles in the Holy House and the programme usually finishes with the opportunity to join regular pilgrims at the short service of Sprinkling at the Holy Well.
The Walsingham Easter Trail – suitable for Year 2 to 6
This programme offers a series of classroom-based and exploratory activities in the Shrine Church and gardens. The aim is give children a good understanding of the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and to explain why Easter is so important for Christians; they will find out what happened and how those events are recalled in worship today. Various characters in the unfolding drama also tell their stories!
The Pilgrimage Experience – Year 7 to 13 - adaptable for large or small groups
Visit the Roman Catholic National Shrine (the Slipper Chapel) • walk the Holy Mile (barefoot optional!) • out and about in the Priory ruins • the first Holy House, the ruins of the great Priory church, what happened in 1538? • picnic lunch in the grounds of the Anglican Shrine • focus on modern pilgrims • explore the Shrine site • Sprinkling at the well.
‘One Church, one Faith …?’ - Explore Christian places of worship in Walsingham - a day visit programme which is ideal for GCSE
Suitable for individual class groups or larger scale year group visits • discuss the prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper, his desire that his followers be united • visit three places of worship in the village (Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Methodist) • focus on lay-out, furnishings, worship styles • compare and contrast • discover some of the historical reasons for the divisions within Christianity • visit the Anglican Shrine and discover more about pilgrimage to this famous holy site • opportunity to receive water from the Holy Well, a potential focus of unity perhaps?
Responses - A programme particularly suitable for GCSE students
A day programme that offers activities that enable students to discover the spirituality of the Shrine and find out about pilgrimage and worship and its relevance to contemporary Christians • discussion groups led by clergy and religious (monks and nuns) on key moral and ethical issues
Sometimes it is good just to go somewhere different, to experience a little peace and quiet – to take time out from the hectic life of school or college. The Pastor for Schools is available to lead a Quiet Day for smaller groups of older secondary school students. The exact content of the programme will be discussed in advance and tailored to suit the need of the group but can include some Bible study, times of silence, a Eucharist, talks on prayer and vocation, together with the opportunity to take part in the ceremony of Sprinkling at the Holy Well before departure.