The countryside was at its most beautiful. The rain of the previous weeks really brought out all the shades of green of the vegetation, rather than the scorched effect you would expect with such sunshine. Mind you I have never known stinging nettles with so much sting before, ouch they were wicked!

Our pilgrimage this year really did have a very moving and beautiful ecumenical spirituality to it. Father Tim, the Anglican Bishop of Horsham’s personal chaplain, really enhanced our liturgy (and kept Julian amused on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway). With Father Bill and Father Rob Esdale from the Sussex University Chaplaincy, our sharing and unity in worship touched many of us deeply. If only the theologians and Church leaders involved in the sin of division within our Christian faiths, could have experienced the God blessed unity that we felt as pilgrims this year  

And yes…  for those who have not been on a pilgrimage for a few years, I am happy to report that pilgrims are still doing hysterically stupid things. Some of us decided to take what looked like a short cut across a huge field only to discover a 10-foot wide ditch full of septic stagnant water in the way. Having tried to see, other than going a long way back, if there was a way around this long and potentially wet and smelly inconvenience, Will and Peter decided that it was jumpable. Will threw his valuables and kit bag over to pilgrims waiting expectantly on the other side of the ditch (knowing when they were on for a good laugh at someone else’s expense), took a long run up and… splash !!! yes it was deep!!! yuk!!!  Peter the “Mr. I’m super fit pilgrim” saw how close Will had been to making it, took an almighty run up, going like an express train powered by rocket fuel and… well we can only guess that he forgot to jump or left the jump bit a little late, because he went into the centre of that watery smelly stagnant ditch at such a speed that the splash was akin to a tidal wave! !!! Nice one Peter… had us all in stitches… interesting after shave Peter… Canal No. 5 perhaps? As for me, I’d seen and smelt enough, I walked around with some brilliant photographs for the Reunion.

At Minster, we had one of those really excellent Pub singsongs. The landlord hesitantly agreed to our playing and singing in a corner of the pub away from some of his “old lady clientele who might not appreciate it.” After our meal in the hall, guitar after guitar after accordion after violin after flute after hymn book box after music sheet bag after pilgrim in fine voice drifted into this bulging corner. It wasn’t long before the locals were asking to get involved. They were given song sheets and hymn books and it has to be said that those old ladies would have heard the singing even if they were deaf and on the other side of the village! It is always great to hear locals who probably haven’t seen the inside of a church for years, asking for a favourite hymn that they roughly remember. It was also amusing to see the landlord trying to swing from the rafters and do ape impersonations to “I’m the king of the swingers” from Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book.

I could go on raving about a lot more, but I need to leave some space in this news letter to talk about next years walk Where are we going? yes! yes!! yes!!! we are going to have a Cornish pilgrimage to St Michael’s Mount! For anyone who has been to Cornwall before, you know it’s got to be good! For those of you who do not yet know that area of England… believe me it is beautiful, a five star on anyone’s scale.

On initial research it transpires that St. Michael the Arch Angel was in fact an important Saint within the Celtic Church. It looks as if the desire expressed by many at the planning meeting to have a Celtic Saints and Celtic Church theme to the pilgrimage and those wanting to develop the theme of Good verses Evil in our world (Saint Michael is the Champion of the good Angels in the celestial punch up with Satan and his motley crew) are compatible and intertwined.

For advanced booking of your holidays for next year, the route and dates are as follows:

The St. Michael’s Mount Pilgrimage 1998

1 Sat 15th August

Journey to Plymouth Coach V train options being Investigated

2 Sun 16th August

Plymouth to Tavistock

3 Mon 17th August

Tavistock to Launceston The ancient capital of Cornwall, Martyrs

4 Tue 18th August

Launceston to Liskeard

5 Wed 19th August

Liskeard to Fowey

6 Thur 20th August

Fowey (Rest Day)

7 Fri 21st August

Fowey to Bodmin Ancient Celtic Saints walk

8 Sat 22nd August

Bodmin to Padstow Ancient Celtic Saints walk

9 Sun 23rd August

Padstow to Newquay Pilgrims route to St. James at
Compostela. Ancient Lanhern Convent.

10 Mon 24th August

Newquay (Rest Day)

11 Tue 25th August

Newquay to St. Agnes Passing St. Piran in the sands

12 Wed 26th August

St. Agnes to Cambourne Julian, this train does stop Cambourne, Wednesdays’

13 Thur 27th August

Cambourne to St. yes St. James of Compostela cont.

14 Fri 28th August

St. Ives to St. Michael’s Mount, Marazion

15 Sat 29th August

Marazion Celebration Day

16 Sun 30th August

Journey home (Coach V Train options being investigated).


Because of the logistics involved in successfully organising a pilgrimage as far away as Cornwall, we are looking for routeplanners to volunteer as soon as possible so that we can know that everything is covered. If you wish to volunteer, on a first come first get basis, phone Maurice Hickman, alias Hairbear, our Chief Routeplanner to book your day.

Next years organising team is mostly the same as lasts which is excellent news. The changes are… New in as Church Liaison Officer is John Lamb with Mary Russell’s assistance. Mary Russell can be congratulated as having done a magnificent job this year. It was due to her efforts that we received such warm welcomes at the Churches we passed and much of the success of the wonderful ecumenical atmosphere as well. Peter Storrow is taking on being our press officer and fire chief (putting out burning pilgrims before they set light to the hall), Paul Greysmark and Will Phillips are taking on a new and very important role of youth team, looking specifically at how to attract more young pilgrims. We have heard through the grape vine that the one and only Simon Donovan is coming back as one of Francis’s helpers. One post that has not been filled yet is that of Van Driver… is anyone out there interested ?

There is one last point that I would like to make… for those of you who have got used to booking late… be advised that we are expecting this to be an incredibly popular pilgrimage   and not all the halls may be that big down in Cornwall… spaces will be given on a first come first served basis so get your deposits in fast to save being disappointed.

Hope to see as many of you as possible at the Bosham Reunion.

Love & Prayers

Patrick Reeve

We have lost contact with the following pilgrims;

Tim Weir (Canterbury 1&2 and Glastonbury 1) formally of Ashtead,

Marjorie Hopkins (Canterbury 1 &2)formally of Peacehaven,

Hannah Brunton (Canterbury 1, Walsingham 1, Buckfast 1, Sussex, and Papal) formerly of Worth.

If anyone knows their whereabouts or of any other changes of address can they please contact

Fr. Bill Haynes, who looks after the Pilgrimage database

Pilgrimage Feelings

In my view Father Tim was the one person who really made this Pilgrimage. He was a person that everyone could easily get on with, fitting in very well with our groove. His sermons were a joy - a laugh - we all got on so well with him. The ecumenism he inspired made it like a totally new experience. A refreshing one. Tim managed to get to the young people in us - the child waiting to get out. Thank you.

The pilgrimage as a whole was a memorable one full of highs and perhaps for some, lows as well. But for first time pilgrims and recent newcomers it was something they will never forget.

Friends old and new struggled - listened to one another’s stories - helped each other. That is what makes the pilgrimage such a united family, and a very special achievement to do.

Friends - Pilgrims keep on walking together, and thank you everybody, old and new.

Pilgrims Unite.

Simon Evans


A prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church

Attributed to St. Augustine

Gracious Lady,

you are mother and virgin,

you are the mother of the body and soul

of our Head and Redeemer,

you are also truly mother of all the members

of Christ’s Mystical Body,


For through your love,

you have cooperated in the begetting

of the faithful in the Church.

Unique among women,

you are mother and virgin,

mother of Christ and virgin of Christ.


You are the beauty and charm of earth.

O Virgin

You are forever

the image of the holy Church

Through a woman came death,

through a woman came life,

Yes, through you

O Mother of God.