East Anglian inter faith pilgrimage at Walsingham
The second East Anglian Inter Faith Pilgrimage took place on Saturday April 1, when around 100 pilgrims including Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Pagans from Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge, Wisbech, Lowestoft, Peterborough and from the local Walsingham Deanery met at Walsingham.
The first pilgrimage took place in 2015 and was organised by Suffolk Inter Faith Resource, this year’s Pilgrimage was arranged by the Catholic Diocese of East Anglia, Wisbech Inter Faith Forum and Peterborough Inter Faith Council.
The Pilgrimage started with a Catholic Mass at the Catholic National Shrine, concelebrated by Monsignor John Armitage, Rector of the Shrine, Fr Michael Rear who was leading the Pilgrimage and Deacon Paul Hirons. This was followed by a shared lunch.
After lunch most of the pilgrims walked one and a quarter miles along the Pilgrims Way to Little Walsingham, stopping at six ‘stations’ for time to reflect on our world today.
Reflections were shared by Sean Finlay from Wisbech Inter Faith Council, Brian Keegan from the Catholic Diocese of East Anglia, Bharat Khetani from Wisbech Inter Faith Council, a reading from the Sikh scripture provided by Jaspal Singh Chairman of Peterborough Inter Faith Council read by Canon Matthew Bradbury from St Peter’s and St Paul’s Anglican Church in Wisbech, Di Nicholas, the Liberal Jewish representative on the Peterborough Inter Faith Council and a reading from the Qur’an said by Zahid Akbar, Secretary of the Peterborough Inter Faith Council.
Those that walked then joined with those who were unable to walk at the Anglican Shrine for the Sprinkling Service celebrated by Fr Andreas Wenzel, the Shrine Priest.
Brian Keegan, the Lead for Inter Faith Relations in the Catholic Diocese and also a member of Peterborough Inter Faith Council, one of the joint organisers, said: “I was delighted that so many pilgrims from all the major faiths, as well as the Chair of Cambridge Inter Faith Group, who is a pagan, were able to join us for this pilgrimage and share with us from their sacred texts readings which enabled us to reflect together about the problems facing our world today and pray in our own ways for peace.”
Brian also thanked Chris Woods from Norwich Inter Faith Link who had suggested the idea of a walk with reflections but who was unable to join the pilgrims on the day, as well as the help received from both the Anglican and Catholic shrines.
Pictured top are the pilgrims at the end of the walk and, above, one of the station readings along the way.