or Pilgrimage Newsletter No 36, August 1990


After following in the footsteps of St Richard from his birthplace, Droitwich, to Chichester, his Episcopal see, last summer, we will be setting off in a couple of weeks time to follow St Richard’s last footsteps. It is reported that his last preaching journey in 1253 took him along the Sussex Coast from Chichester visiting Selsey, Ferring, Tarring and Brighton, and then into Kent. The winter travel took severe toll of his health, and he was ill by the time he reached Dover and lodged at a religious hospice, Maison Dieu, now Dover Town Hall. On 30th March 1253 he consecrated a chapel in honour of St Edmund in the Cemetery for the Poor, which still stands in the midst of the traffic of Dover town centre. He collapsed next day and three days later he died on 3rd April 1253. After his death the Chapel of St Edmund became a place of pilgrimage, and will indeed be the focus of our pilgrimage.


75 pilgrims have signed on to join our pilgrimage. Of these 47 intend to be with us for the whole journey. There are a pleasing number of new names in this year’s pilgrimage list, and quite a lot of these are young people. (Bring back the youth was this year’s recruiting slogan!) The average number with us on the pilgrimage will be between 55 and 60. Since we are walking the length of our diocese, and passing near the homes of many old pilgrims, we do hope that many more will join us by day.


The Portsmouth Diocesan Pilgrimage, organised by Margaret Archer, took a winding tour through Dorset this Easter week. Visiting many of the places we walked through on the Buckfast 2 Pilgrimage, they went to Bournemouth, Studland, Lulworth, Osmington, Dorchester, Wool, and Corfe Castle. Mrs Clare de Normanville (Canterbury 2, Buckfast 1, Evesham) (whose husband took her historic name) is very happy still up in Sheffield, and doing lots of walking, including Wainwright's walk from St Bees Head to Robin Hood Bay across Northern England. She has passed exams to be both qualified ward sister and a motorcyclist. She is now running a resource management project in the hospital. Also in the nursing field is Moggy Stephens (Walsingham 1, Canterbury 2) working at the Royal Marsden Hospital and living with her parents in Ashtead. Dawn Willson's husband John has now retired as our ambassador to Zambia, and they are hoping to move to South Africa to contribute to the building up of a multi-racial society there. Meanwhile they are living at 28, Sloane Court East, London, SW3 4GT


Julian Martin and Dorothy Jones were married on Saturday 21st July, at the Sacred Heart Church, Hove. Susan and Michael McCabe now have a baby son, Timothy Michael, born 16th May 1990, a brother for Anne Theresa. All four are intending to join us on this year’s pilgrimage! And his proud parents composed a poem to announce his arrival:

Susan and Michael McCabe

Announce the birth of their second new babe:

A brother for Anne

An eight-pound young man,

Timothy is the boy that we’ve made!

Margaret Archer is now engaged to one David, no more information yet. Debbie Ellis (née Davies) (Buckfast 1 & 2, Sussex, Papal and Evesham) is expecting a baby in February. Carolyn Woodrup (née Mahon) and Paul are expecting a baby in December. Tony Hanks (Canterbury 1& 2, Walsingham 1, and Glastonbury) is now married and has a little daughter, Elizabeth. Alex and Evelyn Ollivier (St Richard 1) are expecting a baby around 26th August; but nonetheless Alex is still hoping to join us for couple of days on the pilgrimage. Also expecting about now is Cecilia Symons (née Mottram) (Canterbury 2, Buckfast 1 and Sussex). Like Clare de Normanville, mentioned above, she has recently done Wainwright's Coast-to-Coast Walk.


Several pilgrimage letters have been returned marked gone away, address unknown and the like. Can any of the pilgrims help us to regain contact with Angela and Sebastian Taylor of Southampton (Glastonbury, Canterbury 2, Sussex, Buckfast 2 and Evesham), Benedict Willson of Taunton (Lindisfarne), Matthew Grant of Bramber (Wessex), Elizabeth Crease of Hindhead (Evesham), Peter Appleby of lots of the early pilgrimages who moved two years ago from his address in Langley Green, Crawley.


It is with great sadness that we hove to report the death on Wednesday 7th February of Cedric Birkinshaw, our erstwhile van driver. Only two weeks before he had been at a pilgrimage committee meeting, and he was planning a short walk for some pilgrims in the Arundel area the following Sunday. The Requiem Mass was on Friday 16th February and many pilgrims were able to join the crowds of local people in the church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Bognor. Cedric, Deputy Mayor of Bognor Regis that year, was a very well known man locally. Margaret and Lucy have asked me to say to you all, “You will never know how much your love and prayers have helped us since Cedric died. Thank you all so much. We look forward to seeing you in August.

Condolences too to Julian Martin, whose mother died in March, and whose funeral was at St Mary’s, Preston Park, Brighton on 19th March.

And also to Maurice Hickman whose Father died on 31st October 1989. Maurice’s father had a great devotion to Cardinal Newman, the centenary of whose death is being celebrated this year, and Maurice is making a mini-pilgrimage to the Birmingham Oratory on 10th to 12th August, and has invited any of the pilgrims who were interested to join him. Sorry I couldn’t publicise this earlier Maurice.