1,000 East Anglia pilgrims walk at Walsingham
Over 1,000 people joined the annual Diocese of East Anglia pilgrimage to Walsingham on Bank Holiday Monday, May 1.
The pilgrimage began in Walsingham’s Friday market place, outside the Church of the Annunciation, and processed along the Holy Mile to the Catholic National Shrine (now the Basilica of Our Lady of Walsingham).
Groups from across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambs and Peterborough joined the pilgrimage, which this year also marked 120 years since the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham was restored in the Holy House at King’s Lynn.
At the start, Bishop Alan Hopes blessed a new sculpture of the Annunciation high on the front of the church at Walsingham followed by the traditional crowning of the statue of Mary, which led the procession to the Basilica.
After arriving at the Shrine, Bishop Alan led a Pontifical Mass of Our Lady of Walsingham attended by around 1400 people.
In his homily, Bishop Alan welcomed a large group of young pilgrims who had walked across the Norfolk countryside to Walsingham after attending the Ignite Festival in Swaffham: “They have shown us how a pilgrimage really ought to be done,” he said.
Referring to the vision of Mary received at Walsingham, Bishop Alan said: “The story of Walsingham is an enduring witness to the beauty and power of silence.
“Our world is becoming rapidly less and less silent. Always there is background noise – something to keep us from the embarrassment of silence. But the more we run away from silence, the more we run away from the Word of God who speaks to us in the silence of prayer and reflection. Only by imitating Mary’s silence can we conceive the Christ in our hearts.”
See below or click here to see a full picture gallery of the pilgrimage.