Every year we take a group of teenagers (aged 14 to 18) to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham on the National Youth Pilgrimage.
Walsingham is a very special and very holy place, where the Blessed Lady appeared to Lady Richeldis in 1061 and told her to build a shrine where she found water running. The Shrine became a place of national pilgrimage, being regularly frequented by many noblemen, senior clergy and royalty. Henry VIII, like his father, attended the shrine a number of times, leaving offerings before the statue of our Lady of Walsingham. However, the Shrine received much criticism in the period leading up to the dissolution of the monasteries, particularly due to allegations of impropriety amongst the monks and overly tentative claims to the possession of certain relics, in particular a vial of the Blessed Lady's milk, much criticised by Erasmus.
The Shrine was eventually dissolved in 1538, and the site lay desolate until it was restored by Fr Hope Patten in 1931. Today it is a major site of pilgrimage, often being described as England's Nazareth.
The Youth Pilgrimage is an annual event which follows a different theme every year. It entails periods of meditation, study and prayer, against a backdrop of praise, singing and general merriment.
If you are interested in attending, please speak to Rev'd Ann.
A report of this year's youth pilgrimage:
To follow shortly.