Yesterday 12 members of St. Augustine’s went to the National Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Leaving at 7.15 a.m. we picked up four members of St. Francis of Assisi, Barkingside en route. Father Martin drove the minibus despite having a bad back. We stopped at Brandon Woods for breakfast and then continued to the little village of Walsingham where hundreds of others, Bishops, Priests and pilgrims, had gathered for this annual event.
The procession from the Shrine Church began at 11.50 a.m. and we made our way to the Abbey Grounds singing Marian and other hymns. There was a very good representation of Catholic Bishops this year and the Mass was concelebrated at 12 noon led by the Bishop of Whitby the Rt Revd Martin Warner. At the end of Mass, Bishop Lindsey Urwin OGS the Administrator of the Shrine welcomed some important guests, including the Bishop of Norwich, the Bishop of Kings Lynn, the Administrator of the Roman Catholic Shrine, a contingent from the Orthodox Church, The Bishop of Stafford and the Bishop of Venezuela and he then gave the notices. Amongst the Anglo-Catholic Bishops present were the Bishops of Richborough, Ebbsfleet, Beverley, Chichester, the retired Bishop of Richborough, and many others.
After lunch we had an excellent and thoughtful sermon, preached this year by the Bishop of Stafford, the Rt. Revd. Gordon Mursell. Following the sermon we assembled to process back to the Shrine reciting the Rosary interspersed with the Walsingham Pilgrims Hymn. At the Shrine there was the service of Benediction led by the Bishop of Chichester the Rt. Revd. John Hind.
Members of our party visited the Shrine Church before heading back to the minibus for the journey home. We stopped at Swaffham for Fish and Chips at Old Mother Hubbard’s Fish and Chip Shop somewhat daunting the waitress when 16 hungry pilgrims arrived. After a very good meal we then set of home arriving back at around 10.00 p.m. A great day and one which those who attended will long remember.
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us