THE WALSINGHAM WALKERS
An unincorporated association of Catholic men committed to annual pilgrimage Rosary walks to Walsingham
From: Peter Walters (on behalf of the Walk organising committee)
Essex CB11 4QX
Tel: 01799 550398
SUMMER NEWSLETTER 2018
A little band of pilgrims
Our numbers are low this year with just 5 men in all, mainly the old faithfuls with more walks behind them than grey hairs on their heads!
If the Walk is to survive, we simply must try and attract new Walkers, preferably those who are of pre-retirement age, otherwise it will fade. This would be a great pity since the Walsingham Walk is one of the last (if not the very last) of the annual Catholic mens’ pilgrimage walks to Walsingham of this duration (9 days). There are numerous shorter walking pilgrimages but virtually no annual walks that cover a distance of 127 miles.
I have prepared a short Report on the future of the Walk that I shall be happy to forward to anyone who would like a copy. We shall be discussing it at our AGM held on the Friday of the Walk when we have reached Fakenham and in the meantime, it is something on which your prayers would be welcome.
Back up transport
The combination of low numbers and a motor insurance restriction led us to conclude that it would not be right (or even possible) to borrow the Shrine’s 17 seater minibus this year and so we are, instead, relying on the 7 seater van owned by one of the Walkers and we will share the driving between us. This is not ideal as we would all prefer to be walking rather than sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle but at least we have a solution to the transport problem that was previously looking insurmountable
Interestingly, there have been several priests at the Churches we stay at along the route of the Walk who are moving on to other Parishes and we shall look forward to meeting their successors. This affects the Churches in Stamford Hill, Newmarket and Brandon. And the changes are not restricted to Catholic priests. You may recall that towards the end of the Walk, we stay overnight at the Salvation Army Citadel in Fakenham (there being no suitable Catholic accommodation in that town). Major Keith Williams, who was in charge there, has been a good friend to the Walkers but has now retired and we are hoping his successor will be happy to accept our ragged group descending upon his place of worship. It has been good to share fellowship with our Salvationist friends and we would very much like this to continue.
70th Anniversary celebration
As I mentioned in the Spring Newsletter, we intend to mark the fact that 2018 is the 70th anniversary of the 1948 cross-carrying pilgrimages by holding a small dinner in honour of this. We are hoping that a few ex-Walkers may able to join us during the second weekend of the Walk for this celebration.
As in previous years, the Walkers will be happy to carry with them on the Walk any petitions. These will then be placed in the box on the Altar of the Slipper Chapel once we have arrived at Walsingham. Petitions may be sent to the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom, c/o the Catholic Shrine of Our Lady, Pilgrim Bureau, Friday Market Place, Walsingham, Norfolk NR22 6EG for the attention of Derek Williams (Derek will then forward them to me) or direct to me at: Grasshoppers, Stickling Green, Clavering, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11 4QX. All donations will go into the funds of the Guild that, as I am sure you will all know, have been applied for many years towards the support of the poorer Churches in England and Wales as part of the Guild’s mission.
Please continue with your prayer support
Our safety and the general success of the Walk is very largely dependent on the prayerful support of those who have a connection with the Walk, including the Friends of the Walsingham Walkers, the Churches where we stay as well as former Walkers and those who would have liked to have joined us but cannot. Please keep praying for us, both in the forthcoming Walk and for the future of the Walk in years to come.