After last summer’s ordeal (see previous newsletter, “We Survived the Roxwell Flood”), the pilgrims have decided that a shorter pilgrimage this summer might be more appealing! So this summer’s pilgrimage will only involve one week off work (10 days from Saturday to Bank Holiday Monday), will only cost £58 - yes inclusive of all food (including sarnies), accommodation (floors), and transport (for your luggage) - and we will only cover about 150 miles. We hope this really easy pilgrimage (!) will attract a lot more people, especially a lot more younger people, and that we might have up to 100 pilgrims walking with us as we did in the early 1980s.


It was in 1170 that 4 knights of the court of King Henry II slayed Archbishop Thomas A’Becket in his Cathedral at Canterbury. Thomas was instantly acclaimed as a martyr all across Europe, and Pope Alexander III formally canonised him in 1173. Henry made a pilgrimage of penance to Canterbury Cathedral, and with this royal precedent, the martyr’s shrine became one of the foremost pilgrimage centres in Europe. The Pilgrims Way linked Winchester and Canterbury, although Chaucer’s pilgrims took a branching route from Southwark in South London. On the second of our Diocesan Walking Pilgrimages in 1976 we walked from Arundel to Winchester and then followed the Pilgrims Way to Canterbury. When a few years later it became possible to celebrate the Roman Catholic Mass in Canterbury Cathedral we made a second pilgrimage there in l979. This time we started from Brighton and returned to Arundel - a journey which took in many of the places we will be visiting again this summer. Our pilgrimage this year will be the shortest of the three Canterbury Pilgrimages we have organised, walking directly from Arundel to Canterbury via Eastbourne and returning by coach.


Our autumn reunion, planned for Fitzherbert School, Woodingdean, had to be cancelled due to the damage done to the school in the hurricane. Six weeks later the event was rescheduled at Our Lady Star of the Sea Hall, Portslade, the scene of many pilgrimage gatherings. A smallish number of pilgrims spent a very happy week-end together, including a cold walk over the downs to Poynings and back, with a long lunch hour at the Royal Oak. We saw the infamous O’Shea Video on the big screen, and lots and lots of photographs of the Second Walsingham Pilgrimage.


This year’s Portsmouth Diocesan walking pilgrimage will take in a circuit of the Isle of Wight. The route is Winchester — Southampton — Cowes — Freshwater — Newport — Sandown — Ryde — Portsmouth. The dates are Monday 4th April to Saturday 9th April 1988. The total cost is £40 or £8 per night, For an application form write to Margaret Archer. (A useful warm-up for the Third Canterbury Pilgrimage!)


One of the memorable events of our First Canterbury Pilgrimage was the meeting of Claire Brockman and Nick Parsons, to be followed after five years of courtship by their marriage in 1981. On 25th December 1987, Claire gave birth to their second son Martin John Anthony Parsons. “A very welcome Christmas Present!”

Also walking together on at least part of that Pilgrims Way Pilgrimage was Mary Marsh-Collis and Mark Yeomans. They parted at the Silent Pool at Shere to follow different vocations, but were later reunited and eventually married in 1979. They too are celebrating the arrival of their second child, Katherine Mary, born 13th November 1987. I wonder whether Canterbury 3 will prove as fruitful!


Father Hans Burgman’s mother is alive and well, and celebrated her 85th birthday on August 5th 1987, and had a successful cataract operation in September. I do not now know where the information came from that she had died in January, and I apologise most profusely to Father Hans, to his mother, and to all who know them, for publishing this incorrect information on the last newsletter. Father Hans walked with us on the First Canterbury Pilgrimage and his mother joined us for part of the way.


Therese Shaw (Canterbury 2 and Buckfast 1), now a Casualty Officer at the Royal Free Hospital, has been skiing in the Alps.

Margaret Crinyion has now completed a whole year with the Poor Clares at Cross Bush And has found her new enclosed life a most enriching experience. She didn’t get on with the new name of “Sr Judith’, so she is now “Sr Margaret Patricia” which is her full baptismal name. We are coming to see you, Margaret, on our way out of Arundel on Saturday 20th August!

Anne McCabe (daughter of Michael and Susan née Martin) at 4 months old has started her literary career with a contribution to the winter issue of YHA News. And her Mum won first prize!

Moggy Stephens (Walsingham 1, Canterbury 2, and Buckfast 1), now in Australia, has been on holiday to Fiji. She says she is coming home for good in July this year.

Vincent Darby is now with the RAF at Greenham Common (so we have friends on both sides of the fence!)

Joyce Cockhill (Canterbury 1 & 2, Glastonbury and Sussex Pilgrimages) is now the proud owner of a prize-winning Siamese cat.

Anne de Normanville is continuing her studies at Digby Stuart College.

Stephen and Clare O’Shea went on pilgrimage this autumn to Rome and Assisi.

Emma Regan (Buckfast 2 and Evesham) is in her final year of general nursing training at the Westminster Hospital.