Sixty eight pilgrims will be setting out from Brighton on 18th August intending to complete the whole 250 mile route from there to Canterbury and back to Arundel. Another 23 have booked to join them for part of the way. And 11 people will be helping at different times with the transport and cooking. Making a grand total of 102. Of these exactly half are new to the pilgrimages. It should he a very happy band that wend their merry way along the very attractive route that has been mapped out to Canterbury and back. We had anticipated, and planned, for 100 pilgrims to be with us the whole way, but last minute cancellations have left us with some vacancies. As well as those who are walking the whole distance or several days, we have invited all the parishes along the route to send along parties to join us for a day. A special (green) leaflet has been printed and distributed to encourage “day pilgrims”.


Way back in February a mini-reunion was held for five days in the Isle of Wight. It turned out to be very mini with only twelve participants, perhaps because of the very wintery weather. But those who went had a most enjoyable time revisiting some of the places we had been to in the summer sunshine on our way to Glastonbury. St Boniface Down was particularly beautiful, with all the gorse bushes encrusted in ice producing a totally white landscape. Glastonbury pilgrims present were Raquel Gonzalez, Christine Gilmartin, Elizabeth Harriss, Marisol Adan, Patrick Reeve, Andy Bashford and Fr Bill Haynes. Clare de Normanville is coming to Canterbury. Four others were Maria Donovan, Joseph Phippard, Ian Fuller and Sally Wentworth-James, who will maybe join us on a pilgrimage some time. The company was great, the food was terrific, and the weather very cold.


Twenty-one happy pilgrims enjoyed a memorable week in the Brecon Beacons at Easter. It was a most successful week in spite of the catastrophe that occurred on the outward journey. The minibus, which has kept us company on the four previous pilgrim­ages, on the associated mountain holidays, and before that went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, not to mention Ireland and Scotland, was duly loaded up with people, luggage, and all our food supplies. We had just reached the M4 in the vicinity of Reading when someone noticed blue smoke coming out of the engine. The AA were summoned and prescribed a new engine, and arranged for us to be towed into a Reading garage. There we said farewell to our ten-year-old friend, and left instructions for it to be sold to the breakers. Stemming back tears we continued our journey by bus and train to Newport. A kind hostel warden and youth worker arranged for us to loan a minibus to get us to that hostel and on to the next one. The return journey was made by coach.

But the holiday was great. We climbed The Sugar Loaf, Fan Nedd, Craig Cerrig-gleisiad, and Pen y Fan. We saw the Afon Mellte waterfalls. And enjoyed lovely spring weather, surrounded by Welsh lambs. Pilgrims with us included Pat Burke, Karen Slauter, David Penfold, Annette and Glenda Kelly, Rupert Quail, Eddie Collard, Fr Peter Madden and Fr Bill Haynes. Several of the newcomers are also going to join the Canterbury pilgrims: Jacky Riedlinger, Lucie Carrington, Therese Shaw, Grainne Costello, and Mena Suguro. Others thought better of having anything more to do with us for the time being: Yuri Okubo, Matthew Huntbach, Francis Roche, John and Janice Johnson, Stephen and Simon Lloyd we will keep in touch


Geraldine Topp and Christopher Hedgecock who met on the way to Glastonbury, were married at St Thomas More’s Church, Patcham, on Saturday 9th June. The sun shone brightly, several pilgrims were among the small wedding party, Fr Bill Haynes presided, and it was a very happy and beautiful occasion in every way.

The wedding of Gabe Churchill (P1,2&4) to Malcolm Stewart, announced in the last newsletter, took place on Saturday 21 April. Gabe and Malcolm have just written a card from a mountain climbing holiday in Scotland, saying "good luck with the pilgrimage, and much love to all the pilgrims.”

Thea MacKnight (P1) is getting married to David Bull at St Charles’ Church, Weybridge, on Saturday 11th August.

Mary Marsh-Collis (P1 & 2) and Mark Yeomans (P2) are getting married at St Dunstan’s, Woking on Saturday 22nd September. Mark and Mary have planned the last part of our route into Canterbury, and will be leading the pilgrims on Thursday 23rd August.

Kathleen Archer (P3&4) is planning to marry Peter Hunt in September. Both had booked to do the Canterbury Pilgrimage, but then decided to get married instead!

May God bless and guide these couples on their pilgrimage through life together.


Eileen Mahony (P2,3&4) succeeded in cycling all the way to Rome from Uckfield covering 1200 miles. She was in Rome on Easter Sunday, and wrote a card saying that she had “remembered all her kind friends on the way.” She says that the outward trip, cycling, was much more pleasant than the return trip by train and boat, when she and her bicycle got separated. Eileen will be with us again this summer, and hers should prove to be one of the most interesting Canterbury tales! Congratulations, Eileen!


Mrs Truebridge has a pair of walking boots, size 4, for sale. Fr Haynes also has a pair of walking boots to dispose of, probably size 6.


Moira Stephens (P3) played a part in the setting up of this national Catholic youth association. Its first major event will be a Rally in Liver­pool on Saturday 5th January. Annette Kelly and Karen Slauter (P3&4) have represented our diocese on the organising committee. They want 100 partici­pants from each diocese - 2,500 people to attend. Arundel and Brighton plans to hire one or two coaches travelling up Friday evening and returning on Sunday with pilgrim style accommodation in the crypt of Liverpool Cathedral. The total cost of the weekend should be about £10. Applications to Fr Pat Olivier at Maryvale Pastoral Centre. Pat, Annette and Karen are all coming to Canterbury so, no doubt, CAYA will be another Canterbury tale.


The first of these was very successfully held at Maryvale at the end of June. Several pilgrims were there, so that will be yet another Canterbury tale. The next such event is scheduled for 19th-21st October. Book with Fr Pat, address above.


The annual diocesan sponsored walk always acts as a focus for pilgrims to reunite. This year a sponsored downstrek is organised for Sunday 16th September, centred on Arundel, led by Bishop Cormac. It will conclude with a Youth Mass at 5pm in the Cathedral followed by a Disco. Registration 11am—12.30pm at the cricket pavilion in Arundel Park. Sponsorship forms available from any priests in the diocese. Note the date it is much earlier than usual Sunday 16th September.


Father Hans Burgman (P1 & 2) wrote his last letter from Kenya in January. He was very excited then because he had just got per­mission to work full time in the slum area of Kisumu known as Pandipieri. He has a small house to live in attached to a social hall there, where he hopes to build up a group of workers. His first was already planning to join him, a fellow Dutchman and Compostela pilgrim, Toon van Kaam.


Father Smith, Abbot of Buckfast, was being told recently about our walking pilgrimages, and his response was, “Why don’t you organise a pilgrimage to Buckfast?” It is certainly an attractive invitation. The restored Benedictine abbey lies in beautiful grounds beside the River Dart, and has a fine modern Prep School offering ample accommodation to pilgrims. A beautiful route could be planned through the South Downs, New Forest, Dorset Hills and along the Dorset and South Devon Coastal Paths. How about it for Pilgrimage Six in 1980?


Aidan Simons, George Evans, Mike Roberts and others enjoyed an Easter holiday in the Lakes - shall we all do the same next Easter? Dominic O’Hara is continuing his studies in Nottingham and working two days a week for the NSPCC, Claire Brockman and Nick Parsons are planning a pilgrimage from Sheffield, possibly to York.