Walsingham Children’s Pilgrimage 2015
‘To go on pilgrimage is to change’, and that is exactly what happened the weekend of the 6th – 8th March as Erina, Lucy, Rebecca, Alisia, Sophia and Helena from our Xcite group made their way to the children’s pilgrimage at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk. Xcite joined 220 other pilgrims from around the country (with their leaders) for a weekend of worship, games, dancing and fun.
The theme for the weekend was ‘Spring your life’ looking at Mary, the spring from where the living water that is Christ comes from, the importance of cleansing and refreshment during Lent and the importance of clean living water for us to drink. The theme came out in the worship, in a range of water themed activities and in fundraising for Wateraid.
Our pilgrims took part in the whole range of activities offered; including a barefoot walk down the Holy Mile between the Slipper Chapel at the Roman Catholic Shrine to the well at the Anglican Shrine. Sophia - “ow, ow, ow it REEEEALLY hurts” Lucy - “I’m determined to do it.” All pilgrims who went barefoot were successful in their venture and were treated to a warm, soapy footbath after lunch.
On the Saturday afternoon there was time to play on large inflatable assault courses and slides, to have temporary tattoos, face paints, do crafts and to get wet in the water fights. One of the children’s favourite water activities included ‘Sponge a Priest’ where chanting of “Sally! Sally!” could be heard across the shrine garden. (Sally- “I tried to hide but there was no escape. I was wet for the rest of the day”)
One unforgettable moment was our Sunday morning breakfast where Sam pledged that if our 6 pilgrims could match the weekend fundraising target of £250 for Wateraid before Easter, then he would shave his hair and beard off. This pledge was caught on camera and is binding. PLEASE help Xcite meet this target by donating via Mother Sally Jones who is keeping the running total. Anything raised above this figure will go towards the Alban - Britain First Saint project. We’re hoping that in addition to the £250 for Wateraid, that we can raise £1000 to go towards the project.
Final word from the pilgrims – ‘When can we go back?’