Arrange a Pilgrimage

Contact the Hospitality Department

Please check with the Hospitality Department that there is availability for the time you want to visit. Any of the team can offer you help and advice. Please note that bookings for both 2017 and 2018 are now being taken. Booking for 2019 opens on March 1st, 2018.

Decide on your dates - then either:-

  • Telephone the Hospitality Department on 01328 820239;
  • Email us on accom@olw-shrine.org.uk
  • Write to: The Hospitality Department, The Milner Wing, The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, Common Place, Walsingham, NR22 6BP

Before you leave - Preparing your People for Pilgrimage

Parish priests should give careful thought to how pilgrims will be prepared spiritually and practically for the experience. Some parishes will organise a meeting before departure for pilgrims, others will celebrate the Mass or provide an opportunity for confessions. Pilgrims should certainly be encouraged to think of a particular intention for prayer for their pilgrimage and those unable to come should know that their needs and thanksgivings will be offered in prayer.

Planning a Programme

The first matter to consider is when to come on pilgrimage. The full season runs from Easter until the end of October and a slightly modified pilgrimage programme is offered from February until Easter and throughout November. During Lent there is a special Lenten programme which focuses on the cross and on penitence. The majority of groups come for a weekend; however increasing numbers are opting for a midweek pilgrimage which offers a little more space and tranquillity. The full programme is offered on Tuesday and Wednesday.Most groups arrive on the Friday evening; this allows plenty of time for pilgrims to settle into their accommodation, socialise on the Friday evening, make the Stations of the Cross on Saturday morning and go for a local visit on Saturday afternoon (Wells-next-the-Sea, Sandringham House and Estate, and Blickling Hall are popular destinations.) However, it is possible to arrive on the Saturday and still take a full part in the weekend programme.

Shrine Services for all Pilgrims

Before departure pilgrimage organisers will want to construct a programme for their group. There are two areas of input for this programme, the first of which is the timetable of worship that the shrine offers for all pilgrims. The fixed points of the full season are -

Saturday

5.00 pm Shrine Prayers
6.00 pm PILGRIMAGE MASS
8.15 pm  Sermon, Procession of OLW and Benediction

Sunday

11.00 am Parish Mass (at S. Mary's Church)
 2.30 pm Sprinkling, Laying-on of Hands and Anointing
4.00 pm Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction & Last Visit

Tuesday

8.15 pm Sprinkling at the Well, followed by Ministries of Healing & Reconciliation

Wednesday

11.00 am PILGRIMAGE MASS
8.15 pm Sermon, Procession of OLW and Benediction

For the full list of services which take place daily in the Shrine Church and to which all pilgrims are welcome, please see the Services page. Many pilgrims will wish to attend the daily Evening Prayer and Shrine Prayers.

Services for your Pilgrimage Group

The second area of planning input is the worship that a group will organise for itself. This may include The First Visit, Stations of the Cross (usually made on the Saturday morning), Intercessions in the Holy House, a Mass celebration for the group and a visit to the Roman Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady. The daily Sacristy Meeting (Sunday - Friday 5.45 pm; Saturday 5.00 pm) is the time for Pilgrimage Priests to request an altar for Mass, be allocated a time for Stations etc. For further information, please contact the Sacristans (email: sacristy@olw-shrine.org.uk; tel: 01328 824202).

The usual weekend departure time from Walsingham is at 1700 on the Sunday (1530 in the winter months); midweek pilgrimages arrive on the Monday or the Tuesday and leave on Thursday or Friday.

Day Pilgrimages - Saturdays

12.00 noon Pilgrimage Mass
2.30 pm Sprinkling
4.15 pm Benediction and Last Visit

Day Pilgrimage organisers must contact the Hospitality Department preferably well in advance of their pilgrimage (email: accom@olw-shrine.org.uk; tel: 01328 820239). There is a limit to the number of pilgrims the Shrine can properly accommodate on any one day.

It is also helpful for us to know whether your group would like the set lunch/supper in the Refectory, or prefers to use the Norton’s Café Bar facilities, or intends to picnic in the Shrine grounds - or indeed, a mixture of all three options!

Please contact and discuss with the Sacristans (email: sacristy@olw-shrine.org.uk; tel: 01328 824202) any special liturgical requirements you might have.

Although the organised programme of services for Day Pilgrims (see above) is only available on Saturdays, the Shrine welcomes Day Pilgrimage groups at anytime and on any day during the week. Many parishes within a comfortable distance of Walsingham like to combine a day visit with a Parish Conference or similar. The Orangery makes an ideal meeting room and can be booked through the Hospitality Department.

Accompanying priests are invited to hold services for their group in the Holy House/Shrine Church or in the Barn Chapel. By prior arrangement the Shrine clergy will, if possible, provide services for those groups which do not have an accompanying priest. During the season (Easter - end of October) Sprinkling at the Well takes place everyday at 2.30 pm.