Gillian McLauchlan, RIP

Update: Just heard from Terri that Gillian’s funeral will be at 11am on Tuesday 26 November 2019 at Our Lady of Fatima, Commonwealth Avenue, White City W12 7QR followed by cremation at Mortlake Crematorium and a reception in the parish centre at White City.

We have learnt today of the death, last Sunday, of Gillian McLauchlan. Gillian, together with her twin sister Monica and mum Helena,put in a brief appearance on the very first pilgrimage in 1975. Gillian and Monica walked many of the early pilgrimages, and co-opted sister Theresa to join the support team in the late 70s and early 80s.

Gillian and Monica at the start of the 1977 Walsingham Pilgimage, at Arundel.

Gillian was one of the fast walkers of those early years, and she and I often walked stride-for-stride.

Eventually work got in the way of being a regular pilgrim, but Gillian always kept in touch and often turned up to call on the pilgrims when it was convenient. Looking back through my photos, in 2011 she was there at the start in Westminster and joined again (with Monica, driven by John Russell) at Birmingham.

Gillian chats to Geoff at Westminster
Gillian with John and Clare at Birmingham Botanic Gardens, after visiting the Oratory..

Having lost her twin sister to breast cancer, Gillian was diagnosed a few years ago with bowel cancer. She was pretty upbeat – last July she texted me to say “Chemo not working so tablets stopped. Liver function worse. Got to get on and enjoy slow but active life for as long as possible”. And in late August she told me she was off to Lourdes. She’d always been a great supporter of Handicapped Childrens Pilgrimage Trust (HCPT) as in this picture from 1981.

Gillian at the Cowdray Arms, 1981
Passing Cowfold Church, 1981- HCPT hat
Leaving Burpham Church at the start of the 1982 Papal Pilgrimage
Gillian with Margaret Nicholls and Geraldine O’Leary later on the Papal Pilgrimage, 1982
Gillian on the cliffs between Hythe and Dover, 1990 St Richard 2 Pilgrimage
Alongside the Thames in Ocfordshire, 1989 St Richard 1 Pilgrimage

May she rest in peace.

AUTUMN 2019 NEWSLETTER with plans for 2020

Hi Everybody,

Welcome to this Autumn 2019 Newsletter which includes details of our recent AGM and Reunion as well as details of our forthcoming…2020 PILGRIMAGES!


We recently held our AGM and I would like to thank all those who attended and helped to review the past year and plan for our next Pilgrimages.   Also many thanks again to all those who helped to make our main 2019 St Hilda’s Pilgrimage and our Guildford to Arundel Mini-Pilgrimage so enjoyable and successful.

We reminisced about our St Hilda’s Pilgrimage and remembered some of our favourite places.  The grandeur of Lincoln Cathedral where we were given a very interesting tour, saw the shrine of St Hugh, attended Evensong and given a special ‘setting off’ blessing after the Eucharistic Service.  The fun we had in the Wragby swimming pool, to walking through the beautiful villages in the Lincolnshire Wolds. Walking along the Viking Way and the Stephen Langton Trail.  Our rest day in Brigg with the market and heritage centre, and who could forget our Humber Bridge crossing when we endured almost gale force winds and driving rain.  We were so grateful to those in North Ferriby who put the heating on in their hall for us in August!  We continued on our way through the Yorkshire Wolds and just as in Lincolnshire marveled at the hard working farmers endeavouring to gather the harvest before the rains came. We walked through miles of sweetcorn and cereal fields and managed to dodge the muck spreading!  Beverley was a beautiful town and once again we were privileged to attend Evensong in the Minster. We would have liked to stay longer here.   Those who slept in the cathedral-like St Mary’s Parish Church experienced a very atmospheric night under the painted stars!  St John of Beverley – one of the five bishops trained by St Hilda, was remembered at Harpham Church were he grew up.  Our second rest day was in Bridlington – a traditional seaside resort.  Here we had a very interesting and energetic tour of the Priory and prayed at the shrine of St John of Bridlington.  We loved the welcoming window display from the ladies at Sherburn Methodist Church and the amazing 15thcentury wall paintings in Sts Peter and Paul Church in Pickering.   The North York Moors Railway with steam trains often present as we walked across the breath-taking moors and along the ‘monks trod’ in the Esk Valley.  That distant iconic view of Whitby’s ruined Abbey and the Church of St Mary and later our Arrival and Thanksgiving Service in St Mary’s and the 199 we processed up with our banner and pilgrim hymn witnessed by many in Whitby that day.  

These memories are just a snapshot so do look at the diary entries – edited by John Chenery – and Fr Tony’s Flicker pages to view photos to jog your memories.  

We voiced our appreciation to all the communities we walked through and to all the very welcoming people we met along the way.  We remember those at the halls, churches and schools we stayed in, the churches visited for prayers, masses, eucharistic services and evensong, to all those who provided tea and cake, the pubs and cafes who prepared food for us – some opening especially for us.  We gave donations to all the churches we visited for our prayer stops and some have sent lovely thank you messages of appreciation.

Many of our Committee Members have agreed to continue to help to prepare for our 2020 Pilgrimages and we are very thankful for their ongoing commitment. 


25-27 OCTOBER 2019

Many thanks to Fr Tony and John and Louise Chenery for hosting our Reunion at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dorking last weekend.   We all had a wonderful time and a very enjoyable walk albeit wet and muddy!!   Also to the parishioners for opening up their home and providing us with a delicious tea and to Aidan for the excellent slide show, which had us reminiscing again! 



15-30 AUGUST 2020

Swansea to Hereford has been chosen for our 2020 main Pilgrimage.  We will be following and connecting up the St Thomas Way circular walks devised by Hereford Cathedral to mark the 700-year Anniversary of the Cannonisation of St Thomas Cantilupe.   Inspiration for these walks was taken from the story of William Cragh a medieval warrior who in 1290 was hung just outside Swansea for rebelling against Edward I by apparently killing 13 men.  Cragh was then miraculously brought back to life, which he attributed to St Thomas.  Cragh together with the Norman Lord who condemned him made a Pilgrimage from Swansea to Hereford to give thanks to St Thomas for giving him back his life. It was this miracle as well as many others that persuaded the Pope to make Thomas Cantilupe a saint. To find out more please go to: › st-thomas-way and

We will start our Pilgrimage in Swansea at the Catholic Cathedral of St Joseph and hope to visit and as well as stay in some of the communities of Margam, Elwenny, Llantwit Major, Llancarfan, St Fagans and Cardiff, Caerphilly, Newport, Usk, Abergavenny, Patrishow, Llanthony, Longtown and Clodock, Ewyas Harold and Abbey Dore, Kilpeck and Belmont Abbey, and Hereford where we will complete our Pilgrimage at the Shrine of St Thomas in Hereford Cathedral.

Your Committee are busy route planning and visiting the areas to assess and book halls for our accommodation.  Rest days will be in Cardiff and Abergavenny and there will be a full Celebration Day in Hereford on the 29 August before travelling home on the 30 August. 



8-10 MAY 2020

We had such a successful and enjoyable Mini-Pilgrimage this year that we have decided to repeat this again in reverse staying at Duncton and Chiddingfold. You will see that the dates for the first 2020 May Bank Holiday weekend have been moved to the Friday 8 May – Sunday 10 May to mark the 75thAnniversary of Victory in Europe Day – VE Day.

Further details of both the main and mini Pilgrimages will be posted on this website once we have booked our accommodation and confirmed our route.  

In the meantime please let John Chenery know if you would like to lead a walk or let me know if you have any particular skills and feel that you would be able to help us with some of the organisation for our forthcoming Pilgrimages.  Contact can be made via this website.

God Bless.

Chris Nussbaum – Coordinator 

looking back at the st hilda’s pilgrimage 2019

Do have a look at the web diary where more photos have been added since the pilgrimage was completed. There are now contributions from around 15 pilgrims. (If you have any further photos, it is not too late to select those which add to the story, caption them, and send them in).

You might also want to view the complementary set of photos in Fr Tony’s Flickr album

News of our plans for our 2020 route will be published soon.

St Hilda’s Pilgrimage 2019 NEARLY ready for the off!

The start of St Hilda’s Pilgrimage is under 1 week away, and the team have been working hard to finalise arrangements so that we can share them with participants and the wider community.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Cajufad2019 (Come And Join Us For A Day – summary of the pilgrimage)

RouteCards2019 (The detailed version, some times might change a little)

Theme 2019 – details of the daily theme

St Hilda’s History

Extract from the Catholic Catechism

2019 Who are we – information for people we meet on the journey

New Medical Form 2019 Every participant MUST complete this form prior to starting the pilgrimage (forms are kept securely and destroyed after the pilgrimage).

Alternative Transport 2019 for those who need to take a break from walking

Route Cards Guildford to Arundel

Mini Pilgrimage – May 2019

To view the Route Cards for our Mini Pilgrimage 3rd – 6th May – Guildford Cathedral to Arundel Cathedral please click on the links below.

Anyone still wishing to join us overnight or to join us for a day please contact Chris on 07850 661833 or

Summary Sheet 

Day 1 – 3rd May Guildford Arrival

Day 2 – 4th May Guildford to Chiddingfold

Day 3 – 5th May Chiddingfold to Duncton

Day 4 – 6th May Duncton to Arundel

CAJUFAD – Come and join us for a day