Youth Pilgrimage 2010


Children and Young people

Description: C:\Users\Daddy\Documents\Church\WebPages\web\080_small.JPGOn Monday 2nd August a group of young people from Abbey Wood, Gillingham and Swanley set off to the Walsingham youth pilgrimage held at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.  On the journey some of the younger members of the group were overly enthusiastic and sang rather annoying songs such as “the wheels on the bus go round and round”, mercifully they eventually became bored of this as we approached the camp site.  After setting up our tents we had dinner (delicious fajitas cooked by Fr James) and then went to the first service, where we met the Ministry Team and received Sprinkling from the Well.  The year’s theme was the Rosary, concentrating on the luminous mysteries: the baptism of Christ, the wedding at Cana, the proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration and the Institution of the Eucharist.  This was followed by a barbeque.

Description: C:\Users\Daddy\Documents\Church\WebPages\web\7_small.JPGThe next morning we had breakfast and then most of the group went to bible Study which was led by Bishop Lindsay (The administrator of the Shrine), the bible study was on The Wedding at Cana.  Mass was held in the big marquee at 10:30.  We had the afternoon free so we went off to the seaside at Wells.  That evening the whole camp met at the Slipper Chapel in the Roman Catholic Shrine to walk the holy-mile (which is really 1 ¼ miles) from the Slipper Chapel to the Anglican Shrine, most of the group walked the holy-mile bare-footed.  We were supposed to be singing songs from a sheet of paper that we were given but there weren’t enough songs so each song was sung at least twice and there was a (failed) effort to sing the Walsingham Pilgrim Hymn (which has 36 verses) without the words in front of us.  When we arrived at the Shrine benediction was held.

Description: C:\Users\Daddy\Documents\Church\WebPages\web\29_small.JPGDescription: C:\Users\Daddy\Documents\Church\WebPages\web\27_small.JPGWednesday started the same as Tuesday (breakfast followed by bible study, today’s theme was the beatitudes, followed by mass).  In the afternoon activities had been arranged for the young people ranging from arts and crafts to martial arts.  Our group made their “first visit” to the Shrine and the Holy House, after which we wandered around the village before heading back to the campsite to participate in the activities.  Some of the members of our group had their faces painted.  That evening after dinner there was a service in the big Marquee.  As we arrived we were all given a Rosary.  The first hour was given over to a “talent” show in which various groups attempted to show Description: C:\Users\Daddy\Documents\Church\WebPages\web\33_small.JPGtheir unique talents, these included dancing, rapping, singing and 1 lady from Chichester Diocese who played the tune “blue Danube” by blowing down a straw into her armpit.  One of the competitions which was held was to see who could make the strangest Rosary.  One group made theirs out of trainers, another out of recycling materials and another out of homemade fudge.  The serious part of the service included laying on of hands, confession and anointing with holy oils and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.  After the end of the service the “all night Rosary relay” began, in Description: C:\Users\Daddy\Documents\Church\WebPages\web\038_small.JPGwhich the rosary was recited by different groups.  A number of our group attempted to stay up all night in the big marquee, some of us took our sleeping bags into the Description: C:\Users\Daddy\Documents\Church\WebPages\web\046_small.JPGmarquee in order to be more comfortable.  (One of our group was obviously so entranced in the rosary that even when he fell asleep in the big Marquee he could be heard reciting the rosary in his sleep).  In our attempt to stay awake some of us consumed an energy drink cocktail (lucozade, relentless and a generic stimulation drink), this did not help but did cause some of the group to behave oddly, staring intensely at the door of the marquee, for example.

Description: C:\Users\Daddy\Documents\Church\WebPages\web\067_small.JPGThursday started the same as Wednesday and Tuesday (breakfast, bible study, mass), today’s theme being the Transfiguration.  In the bible study, Bishop Lindsay got off to a good start by telling us that Mark is the first book in the New Testament, he was quickly corrected by the young people and then tried to cover his mistake by telling them he was going to say that it was the first book written.  That afternoon we went to Hunstanton beach.  It was a bit cold, but not wanting to complain our group pretended to sun-bathe anyway (referring to it as “wind bathing”).  After returning from the beach we were amused to find a group from Southend attempting to get a frizbee down from a tree.  They spent a long time attempting before giving up.  While clearing up from dinner we suddenly heard the sound of an ambulance rushing down to the back of the field, followed by 2 cars and a JCB, they had come to rescue the frizbee.  Some members of our group took up the chant “Save the tree, leave the frizbee”, but the frizbee was rescued anyway.  That evening we were forced by the leaders to go to the disco/ karaoke in the big Marquee.  We pretended to go, but then walked off to the back of the field and stayed there until the disco ended.

Description: C:\Users\Daddy\Documents\Church\WebPages\web\081_small.JPGFriday was different from Thursday, Wednesday and Tuesday as there was no bible study and Mass started at 9.30 am, the Eucharist being the theme.  Mass lasted 3 hours as many congratulations were extended to the people that had made the youth pilgrimage a success.  During the Mass one young person from each group was asked to go up to represent taking up our groups needs.  They were each given a piece of dough to knead, after a while they returned it to a tray where it could be made into bread.  The young people were Description: C:\Users\Daddy\Documents\Church\WebPages\web\074_small.JPGby this time quiet sticky with dough, to which Bishop Lindsay remarked that when we give something to God he always gives us something back, even if it’s something we don’t want.  At the end of the Mass the Rosaries which we had been given on Wednesday evening were blessed and we were told to Pass them On.  After packing, the van set off on the journey home.  The journey began in high spirits with everyone on the minibus singing the Walsingham hymn (all 36 verses of it).  However, due to a lorry fire at the Dartford Bridge the M25 was held up and so a journey that only took 3 hrs going to Walsingham took 6 hours coming back.  A good time was enjoyed by all.

By Paul and Peter