Listen to Him!
Caroline Ward – the Shrine’s Schools & Young Pilgrims’ Officer – reflects on the very successful Children’s Pilgrimage in March 2019.
The Children’s Pilgrimage is a fun and worship filled weekend for children form 7 to 11. The theme for the Pilgrimage this year was “Listen to Him”, which explored the miracles of Jesus. Amazing things are possible when we have faith in Jesus and do what He tells us to do. Even without physically visible miracles, we can hope and trust in God above all.
Mary believed in Jesus. She knew who He was, and even though she had raised Him and fed Him and cuddled Him in childhood, she knew what He would do, and she had faith that He could do anything.Over the weekend we thought about what pilgrimage means and how Mary helps us to find Jesus and to place our trust and hope in him.
We began on the Friday evening with our First Visit and Sprinkling. Fr Andreas was listening to all sorts of things on lots of different devices and making an awful noise! In the busy and noisy world we live in, we need to sometimes be quiet and ‘Listen to Him’. We then received water from the well during Sprinkling and also listened to the sound of a water feature. Water is a sign that Mary wants us to listen to Jesus in Walsingham. Each group also presented their fantastic banners in the Holy House. The evening finished with some well-deserved hot chocolate and biscuits!
On Saturday we made our way to the Roman Catholic Shrine, where we had the Liturgy of the Word. A group from the Chichester Diocese presented our Gospel reading, which included Jesus turning water into wine! We were then presented with our own Shrine water bottle each and began our Holy Mile procession back to the Anglican Shrine. Thankfully on the way back the wind was at our backs! We continued our service back at the Shrine and this included some fabulous singing of ‘My Lighthouse’ at the end.
Saturday afternoon was time for fun! Due to the strong winds, our outdoor inflatables had to be cancelled, but we had an indoor inflatable assault course, a variety of craft activities, diddy racing cars, sumo wrestling, giant jenga and plenty of other things to enjoy! There was also time to reflect in the Shrine Church, with a selection of prayer space activities. In the evening Charlie Cheesecake provided us with a disco, which included a limbo competition! Some of the leaders and priests proved themselves to be incredibly supple! He also made some incredible balloon animals, which were handed out as prizes.
Sunday morning, began with Mass in the Shrine Church. The Gospel reading was presented by Holborn and they confidently told us the story of the Transfiguration and we thought about how we too can be transformed! The weekend ended with Benediction and we thought about how we could follow Mary’s advice and ‘Listen to Him!’
It was a fun and worship filled weekend, with some fabulous singing from all the children! As each person left the Shrine church for their journey home, they were given a bookmark which had a prayer on the back to use at home.
Almighty God, help us to be like Mary,
that we may listen to her Son, Jesus Christ,
so that he may transform our ordinary lives
and make them speak of his miracles.