It’s all good news on the pilgrimage planning front. Danny Thomas, our Accommodation Officer, has taken the West Country by storm! With a campaign that would out flank most military Generals, he has in record time procured all the necessary overnight accommodation. Our Chief Route Planner, Hair Bear (Maurice Hickman), has sent out the Hall locations and details to the Day Route Planners, who should at this moment be planning their routes.
At the planning meeting on 14th January, the organising team reviewed the answers from the questionnaire given to pilgrims at the end of the Martyrs’ Pilgrimage. Our thanks go to Andy Ollard and Terry Dobson for their efforts in collating so much information and to all of you pilgrims who found the time to fill in the form. We will be trying to use your thoughts and perceptions when planning this years pilgrimage.
our Diocesan Pilgrimages have evolved, we have become aware of the importance of
a good theme to reflect on on our journey. The theme usually comes from the life
of a Saint associated with our destination or, as in last year’s pilgrimage,
the whole walk was centred around the theme of martyrdom. The problem with
Buckfast Abbey is that we have already had a Benedictine theme recently (on the
Hereford pilgrimage) and that there isn’t a Saint associated with the
location. So what shall we have for a theme this year?.. Well we are going to be
spending a large part of the pilgrimage walking along next to the sea... there
are fish in the sea... Many of the apostles were fishermen...Yes that’s it! We
are going to look at being “Fishers of men”... no that’s sexist... er..
“Fishers of men and women”... no that’s too long... er... Fishers of
Fish”... no... er... “We’re going fishing?’”… Hang on we’re in the
EEC now.. .Fishing Regulations… so… er... must be politically correct... er.
. . “Fishing our quota as laid down by regulations in the Bible in spite of
our modern world and its concerns for the Superfluous at the
expense of the necessary!” Joking aside, as Father Bill put it,
there could be a great deal of value in focusing in on our modern day
our celebration of 20 years of pilgrimages at the Ropley Reunion last year, many
pilgrims expressed how nice it
was to see the children of pilgrims there and joining in the festivities.
The fact that they were able to come was mainly down to the foresight and
planning of Aidan and Imelda Simons who organised the Reunion. It is an
unfortunate logistical fact that the pilgrimages arc suited to healthy
“adults” and so pilgrims who have families can feel excluded by their
responsibilities to their children. However this year, encouraged by our
experience of the Ropley Reunion, we are going to experiment with the idea of
having certain FAMILY FRIENDLY halls where there are sufficient rooms to better
accommodate the needs of parents with their children. So if you are a Pilgrim,
have children, and would like to join in on this years pilgrimage, the halls to
make note of are:
(2 nights), DORCHESTER, EXMOUTH and BUCKFAST (2 nights).
McCabe family have for many years managed to overcome the logistical problems of
pilgrimaging with children and I have asked them to share with us how they have
overcome the obvious difficulties so well. It is hoped that this may help
encourage and inspire those pilgrims who had previously thought that parentage
and pilgrimage were exclusive of each other, to come again. See "The
Family Guide to Pilgrimaging"
See "The Family Guide to Pilgrimaging"
And so looking forward to the Third Buckfast Pilgrimage, I have heard stirrings in the ranks, rumours are rife, that names that haven’t been on a pilgrimage for years have been tempted out of retirement by the thought of such a beautiful walk along the South Coast to Devon!!!!! Grafans and McFarlanes etc., we await your application forms!
to see you all in August for a day, a week, or the whole way.
Bless. Love & Prayers Patrick Reeve
3RD BUCKFAST PILGRIMAGE
you planning to join us on pilgrimage this summer? Will you host the 3rd
Buckfast Pilgrimage Reunion? Each year towards the end of the pilgrimage we ask
pilgrims to consider organising a reunion, which would take place on a weekend
during the autumn. Sometimes, the host pilgrims like to arrange a barn dance, or
special event for the Saturday evening. Dance bands and callers are often booked
up several months in advance. For recent reunions it has been difficult for
organisers to find such performers at only a few week’s notice. So, if you
were thinking of hosting the reunion, and planning something like a barn dance
for the Saturday evening, a band and/or caller would need to be booked as soon
as possible. But, before booking the band, you should first find a suitable hall
which has the facilities required for a pilgrimage reunion! Check the
availability details for the accommodation and provisionally book it for the
weekend. If you are interested in hosting a reunion please contact Patrick Reeve
on (01273) 414627 to discuss your ideas before you begin making arrangements.
OF MARTYRS PILGRIMAGE REUNION
the weekend of 3-5 November drew near, the hardy(?) walking pilgrims of the
A&B Diocese (and beyond) were rather nervously listening to the weather
forecast. Not that we didn’t enjoy the 1994 reunion! - but following arrows
through pouring rain and thick fog, ankle-deep in mud, soaked to the skin, water
sloshing about inside walking boots - these are pleasures best savoured at rare
of the early arrivals at St Leonards on the Friday evening had a little
difficulty finding where to assemble, but, refusing to join the vigorous
international folk dancing group temporarily occupying our sleeping quarters,
they eventually found the rest of the pilgrims sharing soup and rolls in the
John Fisher room, and warm and joyous greeting were exchanged. (How is it that,
within moments, it seems again that we have never been apart?)
morning dawned bright, clear and crisp; more people arrived, including the
newly-weds, John and Louise; and as we set off along the St. Leonards - Hastings
seafront on our day’s walk (Skilfully planned and led by Maurice), the
sharpness of the slight wind was soon counteracted by the warmth of the sun and
the briskness of the pace. After passing the extraordinary and unique net huts,
we climbed up to the top of the cliffs (splendid coastal views), and eventually
turned inland to be restrained from following the flags on the golf course).
Lunch was at a very pleasant pub, “The White Hart”, Guestling, (a sort of
Tudor Ski Lodge). Those who indulged in the dessert specialities needed a little
help to start on their way afterwards! We arrived back at the heights above
Hastings just as the settling sun was turning the sky and the sea golden. It was
so beautiful and the day had been so enjoyable, we were filled with peace and
you, the heavens of the Lord, O bless the Lord,
you, clouds of the sky, O bless the Lord...
you, sun and moon, O bless the Lord...”
Then back along the seafront through a darkening blue - and - silver world, the rising full moon reflected in the wet sand and the smooth sea.
befitted a “20 Blistering Years” reunion, the recalling of previous years’
pilgrimages was an important part of the evening’s activities - Brenda’s
compilation of superb photos from 12 pilgrimages; and Fr Bill’s slides going
back, it seemed, to the year dot, which everyone watched entranced and with much
hilarity. Who are those svelte youths?? Not Patrick, surely!! And Julian!!! A
particularity favourite memory (of course) was the time (Walsingham 2, 1987) a
sudden cloudburst flooded the route and turned the intended night’s lodgings
into an indoor sea! Some who had been rather mystified by the choice of Buckfast
again, for next year’s destination, were able to see, in these slides,
something of its irresistible attraction. Those of us who hadn’t been on the
early pilgrimages were struck by the great numbers of young people on these
walks and by the way people of all ages sang and danced along the route
(something to revive next pilgrimage, perhaps?)
the highlight of evening was the slide show of the 1995 pilgrimage, put together
by David Cosham, who gave his mischievous sense of humour full reign (what is a
“massaging sort of kiss”, Lou ??) - Lots of laughter, many happy memories.
we shared the evening meal, prepared by the slightly battered, but definitely
unbowed, Frances. Later still, some of us retreated to France’s eyrie and,
under the influence of healthy exercise, good food, camaraderie and alcohol,
reviewed our lives and replanned the world and the Church.
morning Mass was in the surprising church of St. Thomas of Canterbury and
English Martyrs — surprising because the modest exterior conceals an interior
riotous with colour and pattern. Once again, the pilgrims experienced that
feeling of being a closely bound group within the wider Christian community.
After Mass, to our delight, Alan and Eileen Fox suddenly appeared, having made a
great effort just to join us for a short time.
coffee and departure, with everyone wishing the Walking Pilgrimages many more
flourishing, blistering years.
MARTYRS PILGRIMAGE EVALUATIONS
results of the Pilgrimage Evaluation carried out towards the end of the Martyrs
Pilgrimage have been collated. Members of the Organising Team received copies at
their meeting in January. There are some interesting suggestions and points
raised and some of the. suggestions will be followed up. Copies of these results
are available to all pilgrims, if you would like a copy contact Andy Ollard.
OUR LADY OF THE PATH
How far is it to the end, the Pilgrim sighed,
The solitary figure, sweating as he paused.
Sultry the noon, the clouds terrified,
Fled far distant, high pressure caused.
The spectre of pilgrimage aroused;
The taut legs shivered, driven by the sun.
Not another hill to be hurdled;
Yes, I will traverse this one.
The lady with neat hair, dressed in blue. Where is she?
He shook his head, hesitated for her to pass.
Mercury aroused, seething another degree,
The heat haze clouded her face, alas.
She was the very ridges that he must scale,
Scourging the rough summit: and how she smiled.
How his strength would issue, not to fail,
Having her beside him - serene, assumed, undefiled.
This lady, beautiful as the moon at her feet,
Our desire her son, in heaven to meet!
John & Louise
you for the duvet cover which you clubbed together to get us for our wedding
present, and, for the card too. The duvet cover is cream with an embroidered
pattern on it. We had a lovely wedding day and pilgrims contributed a lot to it,
with lots of orange arrows around, pilgrim musicians too. Fr Bill officiated and
Eileen Fox made the cake and the bouquet. Lots of pilgrims took photos and David
Cosham even made a sound recording. We felt very fortunate to be part of the
the wedding we had a honeymoon in north Devon. We kept well away from next
year’s route, and had a relaxing time after all the stress of wedding
pilgrimage brought us together and will remain an important part of our lives,
so we hope all our pilgrim friendships will run on and on into the future.
Nicholls has a new permanent job since the start of the year. She is now
Management Accountant at DRA (Defence Research Agency) in Farnborough dealing
with satellite and radar communications. She says there are lots of government
and Ron Smith spotted honeymooners in Tobermory, Isle of Mull in October. The
Honeymooners, Stephen Taylor and Gillian Trew who were married in Iona Abbey
Church on 30th September. All had a short chat together in the glorious autumn
sunshine. Jennifer and Ron were visiting Mull and Iona with ‘Pilgrim
Davies thanks all the pilgrims for then kindness and support. She also
appreciates the lovely verse which she was given. She will treasure it always.
it is wonderful to be a pilgrim!!
FOR_PILGRIMAGE HYMN BOOK?
the past few months that Pilgrimage Organising Team has been looking at
supplementing the existing pilgrimage Hymn books. We still plan to use the
existing three volumes of Songs of the Spirit, but in addition, we’ve decided
to compile our own pilgrimage hymn book to include the newer music we have been
using during recent pilgrimages.
you have any suggestions for contemporary hymns that you would like to see
included? If so, send your suggestions, by the end of March to Andy Ollard, 11
Wingate Circle, Walton Park, MILTON KEYNES, MK7 7HS. We can’t promise to
include everything suggested but will considered all suggestions. We shall need
to obtain permission from the copyright owners of the material we use amid this
may take time, so please send all your suggestions by 31st March.
WHERE HAVE ALL
THESE PILGRIMS GONE?
the past year mailing for the Pilgrims below has been returned by Royal Mail
marked ‘Addressee has gone away’. If you know the current whereabouts of any
of the pilgrims listed please let us know their new address so that we may
continue to inform them of pilgrimage events:
Billingham (Canterbury 2, St Wilfred’s, Birihday, Wa!singharn 2) formally of East Grinstead,
Bonetti and Lisa (Wessex) formally of
Bolney, West Sussex
Dorrington [Sr Bruno] (Canterbury 1, Buck/ast
2) formally of Broadwindsor,
McHugo (Glastonbury 1, Canterbury 2) formally
of Croydon, Surrey
O’Donoghue (Lindisfarne, Birthday,
Wessex) formally of Kilndown, Cranbrook, Kent
Peters (Buckfast 2, Evesham) formally
of Grove Park Gardens, Chiswick, London
M Reidy (St.
Richard’s 2), formally of Storrington, West Sussex
C. Wilson (St Richard’s 2) formally
of St Richard’s School, Hereford
send all correct addresses to Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Ecumenical
Walking Pilgrimages, The Christian Education Centre, 4 Southgate Drive, CRAWLEY,
West Sussex, RH10 6RP.