As the 2018 pilgrimage season begins, the clergy and staff at the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham look forward as always to welcoming pilgrims to the Shrine through the coming year.
The theme for this year is ‘Mary, Star of Hope’, and we will be reflecting on the great Christian virtue of hope as we honour Mary, the Mother of Jesus and ask for her prayers.
Mary’s faith in God and trust in his promises lay at the heart of her own hope-filled life and as pilgrims we can learn so much from her example and seek to know for ourselves that blessed hope which is offered to us through her Son.
Here at Walsingham we are invited to bring our prayers, our needs, our thanksgivings, as well as our hopes and fears and to lay them at Mary’s Shrine, confident in the loving purposes of God and the help of Mary’s powerful intercession with Jesus Christ.
Many pilgrims from all over the country will gather for the annual National Pilgrimage on Monday 28th May. The outdoor Mass begins at 12 noon celebrated in grounds of the ruined Abbey, followed by a picnic lunch and then the Procession of Our Lady through the streets of Walsingham. The preacher this year will be Fr Graeme Rowlands, a Guardian of the Shrine. It is always a great day of devotion and fellowship and everyone is welcome.
The Youth Pilgrimage takes place from Monday 3oth July – Friday 3rd August. Hundreds of young pilgrims and their leaders spend four nights camping in a field just outside the village, but it is very much a pilgrimage to the Shrine, with Mass celebrated every day and lively teaching of the Christian faith. There are also lots of fun activities and opportunities to make new friends, and it is always one of the highlights of the pilgrim season.
The Pilgrimage of Healing & Renewal on Monday 27th August is held outdoors (weather permitting) in the Shrine Grounds beginning at 12 noon and the focus of the day is on prayers for the sick and for healing and renewal. The Shrine has an important ministry of healing and this gentle pilgrimage celebrates those ministries and Sacraments of the Church by which we experience Christ’s strength and healing touch.
These are just a few of the highlights of this coming season. You will find more details about these and many other services and events on this website, as well as information about making a visit and booking accommodation.
I hope you will come to Walsingham this year. It is a very special and holy place, and a warm welcome awaits you!
May God bless you and Our Lady of Walsingham, Star of Hope, pray for you.
Fr Kevin Smith
To read Fr Kevin’s Candlemass Review letter click here to download a PDF copy.