I hope everyone is keeping well. I’ll be sending out the newsletter for this Sunday a little later.
The reason for the extra email this week is because as some of you know this last week I with my family joined the Families Pilgrimage at the Anglican Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham. Up until Covid I have a led a group of pilgrims to the shrine every year since my ordination and in 2022 I am planning on resuming an annual pilgrimage to the shrine. In 2022, along with Fr Rex Matthias from St Asaph Cathedral and Fr Phillip Barratt in Rhos-on-Sea we are planning a 5 day pilgrimage, leaving on Monday the 8th of August and returning on the 12th. The cost of the pilgrimage will be around £350 (the more people that come the cheaper the cost as we share the cost of the coach). This includes coach travel, accommodation and meals at the shrine. Below is some information about the shrine, an example of the timetable for the pilgrimage and some pictures from my time there last week (it was bit different than our usual pilgrimage as it that week was specifically for families!). If you’re interested in coming or would like some more information please just drop me an email or phonecall (01824 705286). Bookings need to be made to me by Sunday 5th of December and require a £10 deposit. Please do pass this on to anyone else you think might be interested.
The Shrine was first built in the 11th Century after the Lady Richeldis received a vision of the Virgin Mary where she was told to build a replica of the Holy House in Nazareth and discovered a spring which became the Holy Well. It has since had a long and interesting history before being destroyed at the reformation. But a trickle of pilgrims continued in secret until it was re-built in its present form in 1922 by the Anglican priest Fr Hope Patterson.
‘Do whatever he tells you’. Those words of Mary to the servants at the wedding banquet of Cana recorded by St John’s Gospel take us to the heart of what a pilgrimage to Walsingham is about. At the Shrine Mary calls us to be attentive to her Son. With her as our mother and our guide we strive to listen to God’s call to us, and to ‘do what he tells us’ as we respond with the same joyful faith that defined her answer to God.
To leave behind for a few days the familiar surroundings and routines of ‘home’ in order to make a pilgrimage is in itself a sign of our commitment to attentiveness to God’s presence; a presence known in the stillness of quiet prayer in the Holy House, through fellowship with fellow pilgrims, in moments of refreshment and renewal, but known above all through joining with others in prayer and worship.
Below you will find an example of our pilgrimage timetable. You will see that whilst there is plenty going on there is also plenty of spare time to enjoy the stillness of the shrine grounds, explore the village and surrounding countryside, and the as well as the café and bar on site there is a very good pub across the road to provide refreshment in the evening!
An example of the Pilgrimage Timetable
4.30pm Arrival & First Visit
7.45 Optional evening walk
10.30am Stations of the Cross
2.00pm Optional walk to the RC shrine (it is a mile away with the coach available for those unable to walk.)
8.15pm Sermon & Healing Ministry (Sprinkling, Laying on of hands, Anointing & Reconciliation).
9.30am Intercessions in the Holy House
11.00am Concelebrated Mass
8.15pm Address, Procession of our Lady & Benediction
Thursday (A quiet day)
12.30 Lunch (If you want to explore further afield a packed lunch can be requested)
8.30 Fellowship in the Bull
9am Last Visit to the Holy House followed by breakfast.
Other Daily Shrine Service worth attending:
5.30pm Evening Prayer
6.00pm Shrine Prayers (Rosary with intercessions)
The timetable varies from year to year depending on availability of times within the shrine and other pilgrim groups. More information on the shrine can be found on their website
Mission Area Leader of Dyffryn Clwyd