Chichester Diocese has always had a strong connection with Walsingham especially since the restoration of the Shrine in1931. Every year hundreds of pilgrims go from our Diocese on a Parish pilgrimage to Walsingham. In addition, Chichester Diocese makes up the largest group at the Children’s and Youth Pilgrimage each year.
So, it was a very special day when, in partnership with the Shrine, Walsingham came to Chichester Cathedral.
Canon Mark Gilbert SSC, a priest at Petworth and Egdean and Rural Dean of Petworth shares the day’s highlights.
“The day was wonderful. Coaches came from across the Diocese and neighbouring Dioceses to our Cathedral Church. Our Lady of Walsingham was processed in at 12noon and welcomed by the Dean of the Cathedral, Stephen Waine.
“For many Walsingham is a long way so to be able to go to experience the ministries available at Walsingham near to home was especially appreciated.
“Bishop Martin warmly welcomed the Bishop of Burnley to celebrate the Mass and Fr Kevin Smith, the Shrine Administrator, preached an inspiring sermon. The young adults who go to the Youth Pilgrimage in the Summer helped to lead the prayers and stewarding the service.
“In the afternoon we experienced the ministries available at Walsingham. Sprinkling from the Well (Water brought from Walsingham) Laying on of hands, anointing with Oil and Confession were freely available to those who wished them. It was wonderful seeing the sacraments broken open and available.
“The afternoon concluded with Benediction. Healed, restored and renewed the pilgrims returned home. What a fantastic day!”
Pictures from the day can be viewed here