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 

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