Eighteen pilgrims spent an enjoyable reunion at St Mary’s College, Oscott during the weekend after Easter. On the Friday evening pilgrims arrived as the snow fell. They were greeted by warming soup and rolls. As these were eaten everyone had the chance to catch up with others news. Some thirsty pilgrims persuaded others to trek over the snow to the local drinks stop. The evening was rounded off with night prayer in the seminary chapel.

Sleeping accommodation was very comfortable in carpeted class rooms and Greek written on the blackboards. We were also treated to the luxury of baths and showers complete with piping hot water. Just the thing to remedy the harsh weather.

Saturday began with sunshine and the thawing of the snow covering. Breakfast included chicken hot dog sausages and beans together with toast which followed morning prayer. Before beginning our days walk to the three-spired Lichfield Cathedral we celebrated mass in the chapel. This housed the largest Paschal candle ever seen! Gareth Thomas had the honour of snuffing it out afterwards. The morning’s walk was delightful through Sutton Park and around the golf course and the following a Roman road for a prayer stop at Little Ashton. Here people were busily preparing for a wedding later in the day. I’m sure that they wholly appreciated pilgrims tramping through their clean church! This church also had pilgrimage connections Aidan Simons’ grandparents are buried in the cemetery.

Lunch was a short distance away in the village of Shenstone. After a refreshing break at ‘The Railway’ pilgrims set off for the final leg to Lichfield. The sun shone most of the afternoon just as it had in the morning. As we approached the outskirts of the city, there were more houses of hospitality which proved to be too tempting for some pilgrims! As the afternoon began evening pilgrims gathered in front of the Cathedral in good time for evensong which was lead by a visiting choir.

The return journey was to be made by train. The pilgrim group managed to find the station without the aid of orange arrows. However, we did have to ask direction of a number of citizens Upon arrival at the rail station it was decided that we should purchase a group ticket This involved the exchange of fistfuls of small change. However, in the fullness of time all was sorted out and everyone managed to find their way to the platform. The train arrived quickly and sped us back to Chester Road Station. This meant a one-mile walk back to St Mary’s College. The route included the option of restocking on liquid supplies.

Fr Rob treated us to a wonderful meal of salmon pasta in a cream source which everyone enjoyed several helpings. The dessert finished off completely as it was delicious ‘death by chocolate’. The celebrations continued well into the night.

Sunday morning was very leisurely and allowed weary pilgrims to further celebrate the Easter season with morning prayer and mass before we made our way south. Many pilgrims met up for lunch at the Wobbly Wheel just outside Banbury which brought the weekend to lovely conclusion.

Everyone agreed it was a very relaxed and enjoyable weekend. Our thanks and appreciation to Fr Rob for hosting the reunion.


The journey starts with the invitation,

Our earthly pilgrimage with the Crucifixion;

Our invite comes in the form of conversion,

Its acceptance leads to spiritual re-formation.


Our holy trek starts at the Round Table,

It takes us south and west if we’re able:

To succeed, take each step at a time;

Along the flat, the descent and the climb.


Let Jesus be your companion along the pilgrim way,

Walking with you, keeping the devil at bay;

We must accept Him, and follow to the last,

He will lead us, with Him, to the Abbey Buckfast.

 Copyright © Danny Thomas 1996


Karin Austin (née Cooper) (Evesham):

I have just received the latest Pilgrimage Newsletter, which has been forwarded to me here in Washington DC. Many thanks for continuing to send it to someone who has not joined in for a good number of years. My one and only pilgrimage in fact was Evesham in 1983. I just thought I’d write an let you know that in November 1995 I moved here to the United States with my husband Chris, whom I married a Shoreham-by-Sea in October 1995. We had met many years before whilst at university in London. We expect to be here for 2—3 years, as Chris is working on a secondment to the World Bank.

Thomas (Walsinghain 2, Canterbury 2, St. Richard’s 1 & 2 St David’s) and Lesley Yeung (St. Richard’s I & 2 St. David’s) are living in Australia! Thomas has been sent there with his company for two years. He went ahead of Lesley and the children who followed on Good Friday. They all hope to return to Suffolk at the end of January 1998.


Dawn Willson (Canterbury 1, Buckfast 1, Buckfast 2, Lindisfarne, Wessex, Martyrs) writes:

Very sadly I can’t make it this year. Last year our younger daughter volunteered to look after her Dad for the fortnight but this year she’s elsewhere and also I’m expecting a steady stream of guests - exactly what we hoped would happen but it means I’ll be busy in August.’

John and I will be going to Galicia over Pentecost. We’ve always wanted to ‘do’ Santiago de Compostela. A very inspiring pilgrimage organised by ‘Retreats beyond Dover’. They take you to several other religious foundations as well. We stayed in a monastery called Poio. About 50 people; 60% RC, 40% CofE. Talks by David Torkington plus excursions to nearby monasteries. The Cathedral has a lovely ‘used’ atmosphere. You actually HUG St. James. As for the flying thurible it is AMAZING. Still lots of walkers - we hid our charabanc!’

In November I’m still hoping to go to India My girlfriend and I have found an eco-sensitive third world promoting tour travelling by bus and staying in families. If we survive this experience it will be entirely due to the toughening up process of A&BEWPs !!!‘

Tineke Hulsechboch (St Richard’s 1, St. David’s, Norwich ) has responded to our request for news:

In answer to the Newsletter of February 1996: No I will not be coming this year; by the time you start walking I will have to start working again (almost). Before that I will have been in Central America, visiting Guatemala, Mexico and Belize.’

On 1st March my mother died at the age of nearly 77. My father, who is 84 is doing well but feels the pain of loss, which is understandable after a marriage of nearly 50 years. Will you ask the pilgrims to pray for them on their walking prayer route? When words ill the steps you make along the pilgrimage say your prayers for you.’

I myself will have to do a bit of walking for my adopted Godson. I walk the ‘Pietespad’ from the north of Holland to Maastrict. I seem to remember that the next lap is 30 kilometres. Love to everybody I know. I have fond memories of all of you.’

Some pilgrims will know that Wendy Evans, 57, mother of Simon Evans (Glastonbury 2, St David’s, Norwich, Hereford, Martyrs), died on 28th March from a serious heart conditions and lupus, a condition of the auto-immune system. The Sussex Lupus Group has set up the Wendy Evans Memorial Fund to raise money for lupus research and to buy some special equipment for the lupus unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in London.

Simon completed the London Marathon on 21st April in a time of 4 hours 57 minutes and 35 seconds through sponsorship to raise money for the Memorial Fund. To date, Simon and his family have raised over £3,000 for the Wendy Evans Memorial Fund. If any pilgrim would like to contribute to this fund please contact Simon Evans.

Please remember in your prayers, Tineke and Simon and their families together with their mothers’ eternal welfare may they both live forever in God’s glorious light.