This newsletter arrives with your mailing for our next pilgrimage adventure which begins in a few days time when will gather in Guildford once again.
This year’s journey will take us across 200 miles of countryside, including the beautiful Wey Valley, to our destination of Hereford. As you will see from the route cards our days are considerably shorter than they have been on recent pilgrimages. This is in response to your appeals, last year, for shorter walking days in order that you might conserve energy and be in a better condition to socialise once we have reached our overnight accommodation!
This newsletter is bumper packed with Pilgrim News please help us to keep this up by sending in your letters. Our next edition is due out in October.
Will you host the 1994 Pilgrimage Reunion? We usually make up our minds on where the reunion is going to be during the pilgrimage, so please come along with your suggestions. If you are interested it would be very helpful if you could sound out, before he pilgrimage, the availability of your parish hall or any other hall, and sound out your friends on their willingness to help with catering, walk organising and that ever else you might wish to offer the pilgrims on heir traditional autumn reunion.
Next year we will be celebrating this special anniversary. To mark this occasion Aid and Meld Simons are planning a special pilgrimage weekend in Ropley, Hampshire. The weekend is 1st/2nd April 1995 - 20 years to the date since the start of the first pilgrimage. This is especially important for Aid and Meld as it’s the anniversary of their first meeting!
Thomas Cantilupe was born in 1218, in Buckinghamshire. Both his parents were descended from Norman barons, and his father had held high office as a palace steward to King John.
Thomas was destined for the Church. Encouraged in this career by his uncle, Walter, Bishop of Worcester. In around 1237, Thomas entered Oxford. After further studies in Paris and Orleans he returned to Oxford, where he was elected Chancellor of the University. He served for a time as Chancellor of England and served a second term as Chancellor of the University. In 1275 he was elected and consecrated Bishop of Hereford.
In addition to his functions as Bishop he was acting as advisor to Edward I and attending at the King’s Councils. He moved constantly about his Diocese. He did not spend much time in Hereford itself but was frequently, for short spells, at other palaces of the Bishopric.
He showed particular awareness of one of the great difficulties of his time - that of finding men sufficient in education and learning to fulfil the duties in the parishes, and frequently granted licences for leave of absence for clergy to take courses of further study.
In the spring of 1282, he travelled to Italy to be received by Pope Martin IV. While there he contracted a fever. Aged about 64, he was old by mediaeval standards, and worn with a lifetime’s activity and self-discipline. Within a few days he died of the illness.
His bones were brought back to Hereford by Richard Swinfield, would had travelled with him and been for eighteen years his chaplain Swinfield had become convinced that the daily beauty of Cantilupe’s personal sanctity merited the devotion due to a holy figure meet to be enrolled in the church’s catalogue of saints.
His bones were brought back to Hereford and placed in the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral.
Swinfield was to succeed Cantilupe as Bishop of Hereford.
For some years, little was heard of Cantilupe until on Maundy Thursday in 1287, Bishop Swinfield removed Cantilupe’s bones from the Lady Chapel and laid them in a shrine on the altar-type tomb which had been constructed for them in the North transept of the Cathedral.
Then, strangely and miraculously, in a great wave of popular devotion, the place where his bones were laid became the scene of healings and cures. Pilgrims flocked to Hereford in the hope of benefiting from the miracles and to gain for themselves the solace to be found in a holy place. The evidence of the miracles prompted investigation into that hidden life of sanctity. This done, Thomas Cantilupe was canonised as a Saint of the Western church in 1320. His feast day is October 2nd.
This resulted in an upsurge of popularity over a period of little more than twenty years, nearly 500 miracles were recorded.
In 1349, his bones were moved from the tomb constructed for them and placed in the Lady Chapel. The newer shrine was destroyed in 1547. The relics themselves disappeared but were not altogether lost.
Testimonies suggest that they were cherished in Hereford by families who secretly held to the Roman Church and taken, by night, in procession through the streets of Hereford in time of plague.
In 1959, a small fragment of St Thomas’ holy bones came to Belmont Abbey, on the outskirts of Hereford.
Our appeal for News In our last Mailing In January has resulted in a terrific response So much so that Pilgrim News has flowed over to two sides! Please keep this up — our next newsletter will be published in October.
Gabe Stewart (nee Churchill) Holy Year, Canterbury 1, Walsingham 1 and Glastonbury 1 writes:
Despite the long years since I last went on pilgrimage, and the many miles that separate me from the Diocese, I do hope, one day, to don those walking boots and once more head for the hills. However, that day may be a few years hence.
As for news, I had a baby boy last year, which means my family now consists of Calum (7), Catriona (3) and Finlay (1).
I am three years into an MA. Eng. Lit. (Hons) course at Edinburgh University. I am also children’s editor of The List (a Time Out type magazine for the Glasgow/Edinburgh area), and work part-time in the University library. I have little time for pilgrimages in my hectic life, but I do appreciate your mailings, which afford me the opportunity to reflect and take time to remember what they are all about.’
Olwen (Olly) Dennis, Holy Year, Canterbury 1 and Lindisfarne, says that she is the one who made green stew, rock hard boiled eggs and looked after blistered feet!!
Olly is now in her second year of Theology at La Sainte Union in Southampton. Her eldest daughter, Imogen, was 18 on 27th May. Imogen has five offers of University places for medical science, including her first choice, Bradford. Olly’s youngest daughter Briony is 14 and still fancy free (of exams’).
Any pilgrims from Holy Year Pilgrimage who want to get in touch will be very welcome! Many went to her Wedding!! And Olly is also helping to spread the pilgrimage message by putting the application forms on the college notice board!
Jack & Barbara O’Shea, Buckfast 1, St Wilfred’s and Papal. Jack and Barbara say they are sorry they’ve neglected to keep in touch over recent years, but we love to receive the newsletter. ‘Although we have only been on 3 pilgrimages, we really enjoy the news from the Pilgrims. We did join up for a day during Glastonbury 2 and walked from Lymington to Brockenhurst.’
They have now both retired and spend a lot of time baby-sitting. Their daughter has two lovely children; Gabrielle is now 3 years 3 months and baby Jeremiah (Jerry) Paul was born at the beginning of the year.
Carol McMahon, Canterbury 1, Walsingham 1, Glastonbury 1; Canterbury 2, Buckfast 1 and Evesham.
As one of the first pilgrims Carol used to, in the early days, look after day pilgrims too!
Carol writes: ‘In the last few years, circumstances have been somewhat difficult — my mother died suddenly 6 weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. This was 29th March 1992. I met quite a few pilgrims the following year at Mike Simons’ funeral (March ‘93). Mike was a fellow parishioner. A great friend to me at St Joan’s in Farnham and we shared a pilgrimage journey to places associated with Joan of Arc in France to celebrate our parish jubilee in Farnham. Since then, I have this last year (May — Nov ‘93) been laid up with some mysterious joint swelling illness, shingles and a drug allergy which landed me a week’s free bed and breakfast in Aldershot’s Cambridge Military Hospital! I have apparently a mild form of rheumatoid arthritis.
I had intended to see some pilgrims at the Redhill November Reunion but was unable to walk very far at that time! However, I am now back, teaching still at Farnham College (6th form) and trying to make sense of GNVQ, & ‘A’ level Science etc., let alone cope with queries from GNVQ Advanced Leisure & Tourism Students!!!’
Carol is now working in St Joseph’s Parish in Aldershot with Ann Ward and the young people’s music group (16 - 96 year olds!!) and they are trying to introduce Portsmouth Diocese to the Renew Mass !!!
Carol says she would be very pleased to see or hear from any pilgrims who remember her or pass through Aldershot wanting tea and a bed!
Stefan Gatward, Evesham, Lindisfarne, Birthdays, Wessex, Walsingham 2 and Canterbury 3, has been in contact: ‘I am currently undertaking Post-graduate research at South Bank University; having obtained a Post-graduate Certificate in Management, I am now reading for a Diploma, and am nicely placed for a distinction! A few years ago (1989-91), I qualified as an Accountant at Bromley College of Technology.
‘At the moment, I am employed by Tower Hamlets, having transferred from Southwark. Between 1984 and 1989, of course, I worked at Sevenoaks Town Council, during my pilgrimage days.
My little girls are growing up, the elder is 21 and at Cambridge, the younger is 20 and at York. (And I’m still a young man, myself!)
This year, I hope to make my first visit to the U.S.A., to stay with Brooks Hill.
And speaking of...
Brooks Hill, Lindisfarne, is still in touch with some of his good Lindisfarne friends and wants very much to hear about the activities of the others.
Since Lindisfarne, Brooks has travelled to Bangladesh, Calcutta, Darjeeling and Nepal. On his trips to Nepal he did a 14-day trek, lived with a family in a rural village and lived in a Tibetan refugee camp.
Brooks says: ‘Some of the things I learned from the Lindisfarne Pilgrimage were a little slow to sink in but have since proven to be very beneficial. I will be a better pilgrim next time. Thank you all for your tolerance.’
Dawn Willson, Canterbury 2, Buckfast 1 & 2, Evesham, Lindisfarne and Wessex, has been living in South Africa for almost 4 years! Dawn writes:
‘We are still British, and pay full British Taxes as my husband’s pension is a British one, and lopped at source! But we feel there’s still a role to play, here, before finally retiring.
Dawn has been helping to organise a Peace Service leading up to the Elections last April. Dawn has also been elected as one of the South African delegates to the conference of national Councils of Women held in Paris in June.
Dawn has sent us her report on the Church and Ministry Project, which was printed in the Catholic Theological Society of South Africa. Unfortunately, space does not allow it to be reproduced here. Contact Andy Ollard if you would be interested in receiving a copy.
Patrick Reeve, completed the NEBSM course — not only did he come top — he has also been nominated for Business Management Student of the Year for Sussex. The results will be known in October.
Last March, Margaret Nicholls, Buckfast 1, St Wilfred’s, Papal, Buckiast 2, Canterbury 3. St Richards 1 & 2, Glastonbury 2, St David’s and Norwich, qualified with the Football Association as a basic Sports Injuries Therapist. These skills could be very useful on Pilgrimages!
Jimmy Dean, Canterbury 2, Buckfast 1, St Wilfred’s. Buckfast 2, Birthdays and Norwich, had two pieces of artwork in an exhibition held in New York to coincide with the World Cup this summer.
It is with great sadness that we have to report that David Southon, husband of Rosemary (née Wood), Canterbury 2, Buckfast 2, Evesham, Lindisfarne, Birthdays, Walsingham 2, St Richard’s 1 & 2, suffered a fatal heart attack on 20th April 1994. David had returned home from hospital earlier that day recovering from an attack the week before (14th April). Rosemary was with David when he died in the house in which he was born. David assisted Rosemary with the drinks car in Rye on the St Richard’s 2 Pilgrimage and joined us during the reunion at Battle the same year. Please remember David and Rosemary in your prayers.
Fee McBride (formerly Morehead — ‘Dishevelled’), Wessex, Walsingham 2, Canterbury 3 and St Richard’s 1. Fee has moved out of A&B and is now in Somerset. She qualified as a nurse in ‘91 and is now working in therapeutic counselling. She says she has a beautiful dog (wolfhound-Iurcher cross) who would love to come on pilgrimage! Any pilgrims in Fee’s part of the world are most welcome to drop by.
Nicola Brown is now working as Assistant Manager of the Park View in Preston Park, Brighton.
Victor Chan Yin, St Davids, returned to his native Mauritius in March.
Margaret Beauvoisin, Wessex and St Richard’s 1, writes: ‘I am afraid I am getting a bit too old for the distances covered by A & B Pilgrims — even the shorter days of the Portsmouth Pilgrims are beginning to tax me!’ Last autumn Margaret and her husband, John, joined what she calls the ultimate pilgrimage. They travelled to the Holy Land with a group led by Fr Thomas Regan, OSB, of Our Lady’s Church, Hereford. She says that it really was a wonderful, one-in-a-lifetime experience which they will never forget.
Margaret writes: ‘... from a family home to a sheltered bungalow for the elderly’ We don’t feel as frail as all that, though now grandparents of 20!
Gary O’Brien was married to Iwona Zylewicz in a civil ceremony in Poland on 30th June. They spent their honeymoon travelling by train to Warsaw to meet with British Embassy Officials! Their church ceremony is planned for 3rd September in Gdynia, Poland. Both are coming back to live in Hailsham. Patrick Reeve is going to the wedding — The Poles are in for a shock!
Linda Green, Wessex, Walsingham 2, Canterbury 3, St Richard’s 1 & 2, Glastonbury2 and St David’s, is marrying Neil Eason at 3pm on 10th September at St. Peter’s Church, Hove. Linda says that pilgrims are welcome to come the wedding service to lend their voices to the singing! Neil and Linda were day pilgrims in Norwich.
Lucy Wheeler, Canterbury 2, Buckfast 1, St Wilfrid’s, Papal, Buckfast 2, Evesham, Lindisfarne, Birthdays and Canterbury 3, is getting married on 24th September at St Peter’s, Hangleton, Sussex.
Esmé Hayes, Canterbury 1, and Walsingham 1, writes: ‘It’s now many years since I walked to Canterbury and Walsingham and I have fond memories of both these outings. Life moves on. My new challenge is looking after our new baby — Heather — who was born 30th October 1993 and prevented me from popping in to Fr Bill’s celebrations in Redhill.’
Alex and Evelyn Ollivier, St Richard’s 1, Glastonbury 2 and St David’s, are expecting their fourth child in December.
Lesley and Thomas Yeung, Walsingham 2, Canterbury 3, St Richard’s 1 & 2, have a little girl, Isabelle Eloise, born on 23rd April. She’s considerably smaller than her brother, Rory, but is trying hard to catch up. They are all doing well!
Please forward any information for these columns to: Andy Ollard