Young People Take First Steps on Pilgrimage Journey

Tuesday 10th May 2022

Our 2022 Walsingham pilgrimage was made even more memorable as Salford Youth Ministry led its own two-day pilgrimage for the very first time.

More than 20 young people from academic years 7, 8, and 9 led the way as they journeyed to Walsingham on Friday 6th May, ahead of the main pilgrimage.

During the long journey, the young pilgrims learned more about the history of Walsingham and its significance to our faith life today before enjoying a sing along of some all-time classics, including Shine Jesus Shine, 10,000 Reasons – and Sweet Caroline!

On arrival, the group took time to explore the village of Walsingham, the Abbey Gatehouse, and the Anglican Shrine before enjoying a trip to Wells-Next-to-the-Sea for fish and chips and a close encounter with some hungry seagulls!

The next morning, the youngsters were up bright and early as they made their own procession along the Holy Mile, praying The Rosary along the way, to enjoy some quiet time at the Catholic Shrine, ahead of the main pilgrimage later that day.

In the stillness of the morning, the young pilgrims took the opportunity to sit in prayer, to present their petitions to Our Lady in the Slipper Chapel, to light a candle, and collect Holy Water.

On the way back, the group enjoyed the beautiful views of the Norfolk countryside, with some young people commenting on the beauty of God’s creation and the majesty of even the smallest of flowers.

A quick break and visit to the Abbey was then followed by joining the main body of around 500 pilgrims, who were beginning to gather in Friday Market.

Following Bishop John and the rest of the pilgrims, the youth group made their way back to the Catholic National Shrine, where they presented Bishop John and Fr Callum Brown with a diocesan candle in commemoration of our visit.

After enjoying lunch in the sunshine, the group then gathered for their own Service of Reconciliation and the opportunity to make their confessions.

The group then rejoined the main pilgrimage for Mass, led by Bishop John, during which one young person led the congregation in our bidding prayers.

As the pilgrimage drew to a close, Fr Mark Paver – convenor of the Salford Youth Ministry Chaplains – presented each pilgrim with a blessed medal of Our Lady of Walsingham to remember this most special pilgrimage.

Click here to read more about our diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham and Bishop John’s homily.

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