Parish News 

Parish Pilgrimage to Walsingham 2011

On Friday morning, 10th June,  we gathered outside St Francis Church to set off for our annual pilgrimage. 8am prompt we were on our way. After a morning prayer we passed around the sweets and started the usual raffle which takes up so much time and effort, but a good way to raise funds for the St Joseph’s Hospice. A break at Hartshead moor services and we carried on till we arrived in Grantham for Lunch to be met by our friend of long standing Doris McKnight. There was some sort of fund raising going on and people were dressed in strange costumes.


After lunch we continued our journey arriving in Walsingham about 3.30 giving plenty of time for a shower, a walk round the village before dinner and evening prayer. Next morning, morning prayer then breakfast, then those who wished travelled by coach to Sheringham for a couple of very pleasant hours relaxing at this seaside resort with its market and fishing industry, it was only a short visit as we had been invited to join a large pilgrimage from Northhampton Diocese led by their Bishop, Bishop Doyle for Mass in the afternoon. A wonderful gathering of so many people, then a surprise as Chris was called out to receive a certificate to honour the fact that it was the 950th anniversary of the founding of Walsingham and the Skelmersdale group had been attending for many years.

Walsingham certificate

After Mass we boarded the coach to get back in time for our evening meal. Evening prayer followed by Dinner. Later we had the pilgrim service with torchlight procession in the grounds, then just time for a pint in the “only” pub in the village. Sunday morning, Angelus and Morning Prayer followed by breakfast. After, time for a wander round the village we gathered for the procession to the shrine carrying the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, saying the Rosary and singing hymns to Our Lady a beautiful day on the pilgrim way and as we reached the slipper chapel we were greeted by the peel of the chapel bells.


After the procession we placed the banner in the shrine in readiness for the Mass and took a coffee break. Time for a rest, some shopping and confessions. The Mass as always was a wonderful occasion. After Mass we gathered up the banner and the statue and boarded the coach to return to the village for lunch which was enjoyed by all, then we boarded the coach again saying our farewells to Walsingham for another year. Just then it started to rain and did so all the way home. We stopped and enjoyed the hospitality of St Joseph the worker parish in Worksop were we had a buffet then continued on to arrive in Skelmersdale just after 8pm as the rain stopped. Another wonderful pilgrimage. We look forward to next year.


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