You will have received full details in this mailing of this year’s
Pilgrimage our 22nd during which we will celebrate our 20th anniversary year.
We will be breaking the usual pilgrim rule and venturing on a variety of
transport other than foot; namely a boat from Hampton Court Bridge and a ride on
the Docklands Light Railway towards Greenwich. This will be permissible for all
pilgrims, however, those who wish to walk this stretch can at their own peril!
We will also be staying in variety accommodation some with showers and/or
swimming pools on hand. On our Southwark rest day we wilt visit The Tower,
Tyburn and Smithfield to further explore our Martyrs theme. It is also fitting
that we will start from Arundel with St Philip Howard’s Shrine and on route
visit West Horsley and Lewes with their own dedications to martyrs.
There will be diversity in worship too, the plans, yet to be finalised,
will remain flexible and open to new ideas. It is helped this year by calling on
route at churches where pilgrims are especially involved in the worship
including the United Reformed Churches at Bromley (Gillian Trew), and East
Grinstead (Alan & Eileen Fox), and St Michael’s, Lewes, (Monica & Mary
Our close proximity to the Diocese for this year’s Pilgrimage and our
wide embracing theme should lead to more pilgrims joining and renewing old
acquaintances along the way, so it would be wise to book early!!
Accompanying this Newsletter are the details of this event from Friday
31st March to Sunday 2nd April 1995 organised by Aid & Meld Simons in
Ropley. As this mailing is being circulated to our widest audience comprising
those who have joined at least one of our past pilgrimages. It is hoped as many
pilgrims as possible will come and join the celebration.
The weekend was well attended and provided us with the usual Autumn
Reunion weather! The early arrivals had to wait until the children’s fireworks
show was finished before gaining entry to the halls.
When more had arrived there was sojourn to the pub and soup and
sandwiches were provided by Frances on our return.
On Saturday there was an ‘early’ rise and Frances had to be collected
to come and cook breakfast. Many more pilgrims now began to arrive ready for the
day’s walk led by Julian Martin, yes on foot and not four wheels! The rain was
unceasing and some pilgrims had to retreat to their cars to rejoin us at lunch.
We trudged up hill and down dale to Newtimber Hill and to Poynings in rivers of
mud caused by the drenching south-westerly gale. Some contortions by Lanre got
several pilgrims through a difficult barbed wire fence.
At Poynings we took over the Inn with our wet clothing draped everywhere
and a welcome open fire. Yet more pilgrims relented from walking any further in
the rain and reinforcements for backmarking were required.
At our God Stop led by Fr Rob, Brenda made a heartfelt announcement on
behalf of Edna Davies that Rosemary for whom we had all been praying had
responded to treatment.
We then made our way back through mud and water to the top of Devil’s
Dyke, shrouded in thick fog and eventually arrived back at the school. It was
only Julian’s familiarity with the route that saved us getting lost. With only
he and Aidan frontmarking they deserve our praise.
At the school the cloakroom pegs were adorned with much sodden clothing
(shades of Tenby) and more arrived for the evening celebrations including Fr
David and Fr Bill. We continued the evening with dinner cooked by Jane Miekle
and Frances and a very loud disco operated by a priest from Seaford. Those
pilgrims not partaking retreated to other rooms to view photographs and discuss
next year’s pilgrimage.
Sunday Mass was concelebrated by Frs Bill and Rob in the school with
additional local pilgrims joining us. Afterwards the massive clean-up and
departures began and a final party at lunch for some who were joined by other
pilgrim friends unable, sadly, to make the whole reunion, before dispersing and
going our separate ways from a very satisfactory reunion.
1975 – Holy Year
1976 – Canterbury 1
1977 – Walsingham 1
1978 – Glastonbury 1
1979 – Canterbury 2
1980 – Buckfast 1
1981 – St Wilfrid’s
1982 – Papal
1982 – Buckfast 2
1983 – Evesham
1984 – Lindisfarne
1985 – Birthdays
1986 – Wessex
1987 – Walsingham 2
1988 – Canterbury 3
1989 – St Richard’s 1
1990 – St Richard’s 2
1991 – Glastonbury 2
1992 – St David’s
1993 – Norwich
1994 - Hereford
If you are unable to join us at the Ropley Reunion Weekend, it would be
really good if you would write a short (or lengthy!) note about what you’ve be
doing since we last heard form you. We hope to display these letters during the
weekend so it would be useful if a photo could be included to help forgetful
pilgrims identify you!!
We also hope to be able to publish some of these in the next edition of
Pilgrim News. So please, get writing!
It is with great sadness that we report that Michael Sharp, Buckfast 2,
Evesham, Lindisfarne, Wessex, Walsingham 2, died on the 9th November 1994.
Michael had been ill for a number of years following a diagnosed brain tumour
during which time he had been looked after with loving care and patience by
Mary, and Mark and Phil.
Michael and Mary drove the drinks car on Wessex and Walsingham 2
Michael continued to join us on many pilgrimage occasions, most recently,
at the Mass in Guildford at the start of the Hereford Pilgrimage. His funeral
mass took place on 21st November 1994 at the Church of Our Lady of Consolation
& St Francis, West Grinstead, which was concelebrated by the parish priest,
Fr Charles Jeffries, Fr Bill and Mgr Pat Olivier and attended by past and
present pilgrims. At the end of the mass his music therapist spoke of
Michael’s delight and courage before playing a selection of his favourite
Michael is buried in the church grounds. May he live forever in the glory
of God’s presence.
This year’s Portsmouth Pilgrimage is ‘The Test to the Thames’ and takes place form Monday 17th April to Saturday 22nd April 1995 Details can be obtained from Margaret Howells
Patrick Reeve, Glastonbury 1, Canterbury 2, Buckfast 1, St Wilfrid’s,
Papal, Buckfast 2, Evesham, Lindisfarne, Birthday, Wessex, Walsingham 2,
Canterbury 3, St Richard’s 1 and 2, Glastonbury 2, St David’s, Norwich,
Hereford, won the 1994 Business Management Student of the Year Award on 17th
November. The competition had 102 applicants from the Sussex area and was
sponsored by the Evening Argus. Congratulations Patrick!
NOTE: Andy Ollard will be resuming editorship of the Newsletter having
returned from Singapore.
PLEASE FORWARD any ‘News’ for future editions to:Andy Ollard
Contributors to this edition include Peter Storrow, Frances Dean, and
edited by Lesley Hill.