Over a picnic lunch we began the serious business of the Pilgrimage, catching up with old friends.
Sister Jane Louise searched the grounds for familiar faces - it was so good to see both her and Sister Wendy Renata helping to organise the event. Now that they are back in Walsingham they have re-established their old friendship with the Anglican Sisters at the shrine. I also called on Mother and found her immensely welcoming. She took part in the healing service at the Holy House on Sunday evening, which many of our Catholic pilgrims found a moving and helpful event. Bishop Lindsay made us all most welcome, and provided me with a place where I could hear the confessions of our Catholic participants (where I was still toiling away well after 10pm).
But this is to run ahead.
Once we had devoured our picnics and caught up with a great deal of gossip, we started to get marshalled for the Procession.
The roses and other wildflowers along the route were a lovely accompaniment to our walk.
Through the village, and on to the Anglican Shrine, where our priests assisted at Sprinkling with water from the Holy Well.
Our party was fortunate in being able to stay on until Monday. We joined the Catholic Parish at Mass on Sunday morning, and on Monday assisted at the Noon Mass (St John Baptist's Day) at the Catholic Shrine, before making our final prayers in the slipper chapel. Our driver remarked on how fortunate we were in getting a clear route home; expected back around 8.30pm, in fact we were dropped off at Our Lady Queen of Peace half an hour before that.
Madeleine (L) expounding in the Refectory
Crucifix in the Anglican Shrine
It was, we thought, especially good that we were staying in the Anglican shrine, meeting new friends there, enabling some of our diocesan catholic friends who'd accompanied us begin to understand the tradition from which many of us came - part of our Patrimony, if you will.
As we departed from outside the slipper chapel many were already planning how to come again next year - and hoping that our Ordinary might soon announce the date for the next National Ordinariate Pilgrimage.