PILGRIMAGES GO ECUMENICAL
This year’s pilgrimage will be an ecumenical event organised to celebrate the Thirteenth Centenary of St Wilfrid’s conversion of Sussex, which began when he landed at Selsey in 681. Enclosed with this newsletter are several copies of the pilgrimage details for yourself and your friends. This year an invitation to join the pilgrimage is being sent to all the Sussex Churches, so applications could be much heavier than usual. Previous pilgrims are recommended to book early, because, as in previous years, a percentage of places will be reserved for new pilgrims.
NICK + CLAIRE
At Aidan and Imelda’s very happy wedding in September (complete with The Crosby Brass Band) the next pilgrimage wedding was announced. Claire Brockman and Nick Parsons who met on the second pilgrimage along The Pilgrims Way are to be wed at St Joseph’s Church, Epsom, on Saturday 25th July at 2.30pm. We wish them well in all their preparations.
MR DANNY NEARLY PRIEST SIR
Danny O’Callaghan, a student at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, joined the pilgrim family on the Buckfast Pilgrimage. Since then he has been ordained a Deacon, and will be working in St Joseph’s Parish, Redhill. His Ordination to the Priesthood will be at St Mary of the Angels Church, Worthing, on Friday 3rd July at 6.30pm. I am sure you will remember him in your prayers as he approaches this great day.
SOME OTHER PILGRIMAGES
Various events are being organised during the course of the year by members of our pilgrim family.
Margaret Archer is organising a second pilgrimage for the Portsmouth Diocese at Easter from Oxford to Winchester, Details from Margaret.
Father Peter Madden is arranging an Easter mountain-walking holiday in Snowdonia from 20th - 26th April, but bookings for that are now completed.
Moggy Stephens is organising a “Cream Egg Pilgrimage", which means a sponsored walk, from Eastbourne to Arundel. The dates are April 8th - 12th and you can get details from Miss Moira Stephens.
Aidan and Imelda are trying to arrange a pilgrimage in Donegal, Ireland, in the summer, praying for peace.
Looking ahead to July or August 1982, Pat Harris is starting to plan a trip to Assisi.
REIGATE REDHILL REUNION
About 80 pilgrims foregathered at St Joseph’s School, Redhill one weekend in October, where Andy Bashford was our most genial host. We reacquainted ourselves with the joys of sleeping on the floor, and enjoyed a rather muddy walk in excellent company over Reigate Hill Our grateful thanks are due to Mr and Mrs Bashford, and the members of the Holy Family Parish, Reigate, who worked hard to make our stay such a comfortable one. Many wrote to explain their absence. Jane Rex was recovering from a minor operation, and Susan Martin from another spell in hospital. We hope they are both really well again now. Nicola Langton was playing in a netball tournament. Katherine Murphy was attending a witches gathering in Hamburg. Maria Holcroft was on a geology field trip in South Wales. Jacqui Caseley was away on a sailing weekend. Claire Brockman was delivering babies in Sheffield. Nick Parsons was on a Student Cross pilgrimage reunion.
MORE PILGRIM ROMANCE
Karen Slauter and George Evans are now engaged. Karen and George both joined the pilgrims for the first time in 1977 on the Walsingham Pilgrimage, but it wasn’t noticed that they were particularly fond of one another until this last year Congratulations to them both!
HOLMBURY ST MARY WEEKEND
About 30 walkers got together at the instigation of Moggy Stephens, Pat Harris and Kevin Broder at the end of October for what they described as "A weekend of walking and boozing with fireworks and a barbeque. A good time was had by all, and they were able to make £20 profit which was given to the Franciscan Missionaries (having taken over their church at Gomshall for Sunday Mass!)
HELEN SMITH THE SECOND
Helen Rice met Leslie Smith on the first pilgrimage, and so became Helen Smith the First. Helen Smith the
Second arrived on 17th May weighing 10 lbs, a sister to Andrew, Christina and Frances, and reportedly a very quiet baby. At the other end of the Smith family. Andrew will begin school this month at Copthorne Convent.
NEWS FROM ROMANIA
Dawn Willson has written a couple of interesting letters from the British Embassy in Bucharest. Romania is a lovely country she says, full of mountains, trees and horses, which work alongside tractors in the fields, just as gypsies still survive amongst earnest twentieth century socialists. But she regrets the hostility which exists, as direct contact with the Romanian people is impossible. If you befriended a person it would probably damage their reputation, and possibly their continued existence, so she is confined to the company of other diplomats. Dee is suffering rather from the snow with her short legs. Dawn says that any pilgrims who happen be passing through Romania will be welcome in their large flat.
Father Bob Garrard is now Priest-in-charge at the new shared church at Broadfield. One church has been built jointly on this new area of Crawley, which is shared, by Bob, an Anglican, and a United Reformed Church minister and their respective congregations. Being a new area Bob says it is full of young families. He reckons that half his congregation is under 10, and that most of the women are pregnant! Father Peter Madden is now assistant priest in the pilgrim city of Canterbury. He promises to reserve accommodation for pilgrims when Pope John Paul II visits there probably in May 1982. If he does, I am sure there will be a group of Arundel and Brighton pilgrims walking to Canterbury again.
BRIEF NEWS OF PILGRIMS
Jackie Moorcroft is now training as a doctor at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London.
Rupert Quail is now living two miles from Charing on the Pilgrims Way.
Gerard Waters is now in the Royal Navy, and has been training at Dartmouth. He was due to pass-out and join his first ship at Christmas.
GRAIL FAMILY WEEKS
Something for those whose young children prevent them coming on pilgrimages. These Family Weeks are combined holidays and retreats where children are welcomed and cared for. Dates for 1981 are: Waxwell Farm House, Pinner, 25 July-I August; St Peters Grange, Prinknash 1 - 8 August and also 9 - 16 August ; Minsteracres, near Durham, 1 August (also young peoples week at same time ; 14 to 16 years old) ; St Teresa’s, Effingham, 22 - 29 August; and Bencathra Centre, Trelkeld, Keswick, 23 - 30 August. For more details write to Christine Orchard. Cost for adults £55 and £27 for children. Highly recommended.
PILGRIMS IN AFRICA
In his latest letter Father Hans Burgman (whose own pilgrimages inspired ours) writes of his method of visiting his people in the shanty towns around Kisumu... "Every other week I live with a family in one of our areas for a whole week, and during that time I go round to bless the households. This is something our people really like. But we put down our conditions. Before we do the blessing ceremony the house should be thoroughly cleaned. And secondly, they should promise to come to a special retreat later on, so that we can keep contact with them. In this way I have visited and blessed more than 100 households over the past weeks. It is a marvellous way to get to know the people and to get through to them. It is quite an experience in itself to spend a week with an African family in a shanty town.”.
THE SUSSEX TEAM
There has been a marvellous response to my appeal for helpers with the Sussex Pilgrimage. 2 secretaries: Terri Roberts on pilgrimage organisation, and Anne de Normanville on correspondence with pilgrims. Route planners : Patrick Reeve, Mike Roberts, Julian Martin, Pat Vaughan, Maggy Sexton, Gary O’Brien, and Brendan Cotter. Frances Dean, Pat and Sylvia Wood, and Sarah Lane have bravely volunteered again for the catering. And Terri Roberts for drink stop girl. One or two Buckfast Pilgrims dared to say Sussex would be boring. From my preliminary explorations I can safely predict that they will be amazed. Just for starters: Trundle Hill, the Wealden Hammer-ponds, and Pevensey Marshes. And much, much more!