The Youth Pilgrimage

Join us for the 2020 Youth Pilgrimage:

Monday 3rd – Friday 7th August


Wonderfully Made

- Your Body, Christ's Body

2019 Youth Pilgrimage - led by Bishop Philip North

Around 500 young pilgrims and their leaders gathered in Walsingham for the annual Youth Pilgrimage. This year's theme explored the theme of being Wonderfully Made. Not because of what you wear, what your selfie looks like or how big your biceps are, but because God has made you, sent his Son to die for you and has promised you the life of heaven with Mary and the Saints.

Despite the rain and strong winds, the week was full of lively worship and teaching, with music from the wonderful CJM and it was a chance for our Young Pilgrims to make new friends and spend time with other Christian teenagers from all over the UK and internationally. There was also time for the usual pilgrimage activities, reflection, prayer and lots of fun!

The week included a Holy Mile procession (in the rain!), Benediction in the Shrine grounds, interactive Bible study sessions, daily Mass, interactive prayer activities and an all night vigil. There was also time to enjoy crafts, football, a climbing wall, circus skills, inflatables, disco and a BBQ and film night.

Wednesday evening was a particularly special time where the young pilgrims took part in sprinkling, laying on of hands, anointing and confessions.

This year we were joined by Ambassadors Football who ran a variety of football tournaments for us and also a football skills workshop. They provided a powerful interview with Bishop Philip North on sport and Christianity. We were also joined by the fantastic Molly Scott who was a finalist on the X-Factor in 2018. Molly performed with CJM and spoke about her faith growing up.

Even though the weather was challenging and tents had to be regularly checked and secured, it was a truly wonderful week and the young people proved that they really are ‘Wonderfully Made’!

Read the online Press Release about the experiences of the young pilgrims (& their bishop!) from the Diocese of Blackburn - click here

Joe Allen - a member of the 2019 Ministry Team - offers his thoughts on the pilgrimage and encourages others to sign up.

The tagline of this year’s youth pilgrimage was ‘Wonderfully Made’ and what a wonderful week it was! The Ministry Team worked some very long days in the week leading up to the pilgrimage preparing resources, dramas and liturgies, devising and filming videos, making banners and signs and all manner of other things in anticipation of the pilgrimage itself. Before we knew it, the week of the pilgrimage was upon us, and so we relocated from the Pilgrim Hall at the Shrine up to the field site. If we thought the days were long on the ‘prep week’ they only got longer and harder on site! Pastoral visits to the pilgrim campsites, being present during liturgies, helping run football and circus skills workshops, looking after pilgrims during the disco, and 101 things in-between – it all went by so quickly! However, I think all the Ministry Team members would agree that although it was hard work, it was the most amazing experience. To do our part in helping the pilgrimage as a whole to run smoothly, and to witness so many young pilgrims learn of Walsingham and of God’s love for them as wonderfully-made people is, and was a profoundly moving experience. To be on the Ministry Team is such a privilege, and I would encourage any young pilgrims (18+ !!) to think seriously about getting involved - you won’t regret it!

Visit our Photo Gallery for a full range of images of the WYP week of August 2019.


In 2019, hundreds of young people were able to make the journey to Walsingham for the annual Youth Pilgrimage because of the prayers and financial support of hundreds of 'Godparents' - pilgrims and friends who raised £16,000. If you would like to support young people in this way in 2020, click here for full information about the 'Godparents' scheme and how to make a donation.


Fr Philip O’Reilly reports on the day . . .


On Saturday 23rd March a wonderful Walsingham Youth Day was held at S. Hugh’s church, Eyre’s Monsell, attracting young people from across the diocese and further afield – with some travelling from as far as Luton and Leeds.

Over the six hours we were together, the young people – many with no or limited church background – enjoyed contemporary worship led by Jo Boyce and the CJM Band and a Bible Study which encouraged us to be like Mary in our everyday faith and to trust God when we have to make difficult decisions.

As well as wonderful food at lunchtime, there were also workshops and finally a Youth Mass in the style of the worship that takes place during the Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage. In the talk given at the Mass the young people were challenged to be everyday disciples for Jesus.

The day was led by Fr Philip Barnes (Guardian of the Shrine and Vicar of S. Stephen’s Church, Gloucester Road, London) and Clare Williams (Church Youth Worker and a regular member of the ministry team at the Youth Pilgrimage). We hope and pray that this Youth Day will have encouraged the young people to take their discipleship more seriously and to come on the Youth Pilgrimage at Walsingham in the summer – so that they may grow further in their faith during the days of prayer, worship and fellowship.

Fr Philip O’Reilly SSC

Thinking of joining us in 2020?

Click here for the Youth Pilgrimage Health & Safety Guidelines

Click here for a sample Risk Assessment Form

Click here for a Parental Consent Form

Click here for a copy of the Youth Pilgrimage Information Booklet

Click here for a Safeguarding checklist

Click here for a copy of the Safeguarding policy

Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage: The Stats

  • Camp with hundreds of other young Christians in the village of Little Walsingham - minutes from the Shrine
  • Mass in a Big Top with the amazing band CJM
  • Bible Studies
  • First night BBQ & Disco
  • Wednesday All-Night Liturgy
  • Tread in the footsteps of pilgrims from the past 950 years on the Holy Mile
  • Workshop afternoon with crafts, dance, sport, drama, music with CJM - and inflatables!
  • Chill out in the café
  • Photos of the 2019 Youth Pilgrimage can be found in the Shrine Photo Gallery