YOUNG and old, black and white, and wearing everything from
jeans and T-shirts to blazers and boaters, worshippers packed the
Abbey Grounds at Walsingham for the annual National Pilgrimage on
Bank Holiday Monday.
The Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North CMP, a former
Priest Administrator of the Shrine, celebrated the pilgrimage mass
with two dozen other bishops and nearly 150 Priests Associate of
the Holy House.
It was Bishop North's first public engagement at the Shrine
since his consecration earlier this year (News,
3 February), and the congregation of nearly 2000 welcomed him
with sustained applause.
There was applause, too, for the outgoing Priest Administrator,
the Rt Revd Lindsay Urwin OGS, who will return to minister in his
native Australia in September. The Guardians will appoint his
successor in due course.
In the afternoon, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Revd Dr John
Hall, spoke about the image of Our Lady of Pew in Westminster
Abbey. Sister Mary Angela SSM then led the Rosary, as the
image of Our Lady of Walsingham was carried in the middle of a long
procession that snaked its way through the village's narrow
There was soon a sea of black cassocks outside The Bull, broken
up by episcopal purple, the monsignorial magenta of the Rector of
the RC Shrine, and the odd flash of scarlet from a few clergy of
the Royal Household. The festal atmosphere was enhanced by the news
that, in the course of the afternoon, Norwich City had won
promotion to the Premier League.
The Vicar of St John the Evangelist, Brownswood Park, the Revd
Daniel Sandham, is a long-standing pilgrim to Walsingham and a
former Norwich mascot. He admitted that the image of Our Lady of
Walsingham in his parsonage had been draped in a Norwich scarf for