Loading
UK pilgrims will carry life-sized cross to historic shrine
Students participate in the 2012 Cross pilgrimage in UK. Courtesy of Angela Joyce.
Students participate in the 2012 Cross pilgrimage in UK. Courtesy of Angela Joyce.
By Kevin J. Jones
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- About 250 pilgrims of all ages and backgrounds will spend Holy Week helping to carry a life-sized wooden cross to the historic English Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham.

“As we walk through the streets carrying the cross, thousands of people see us as we walk by. It serves as a reminder as to what Easter and Lent are really about,” Student Cross coordinator Angela Joyce told CNA March 22.

The pilgrims are divided into 11 groups, with six of them walking up to 130 miles during Holy Week from March 23-29. They will stay overnight in church and village halls. Another two groups will walk for fewer days and the remaining, family-centered groups, will walk only a short distances.

Groups will begin in Colchester, Epping, Oxford, Kettering, Leicester, and Keyworth Notts.

They will end at the Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham in the east county of Norfolk, a major pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages.

Regarded as the site where the Virgin Mary appeared to a devout English woman in 1061, it was one of the largest pilgrimage destinations within the Church until the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s. A local resurgence of interest in pilgrimages in the 19th century revived the shrine's popularity.

Joyce called the modern pilgrimage this year an opportunity to “focus on what’s important in life.”

“Life isn’t easy, it isn’t meant to be easy. We all have our crosses to carry, our burdens to bear. The cross reminds us that we do not have to carry it alone. Christ carried the cross so that we could live.”

Joyce said she sees the pilgrimage as a “golden” way “to get my head out of the busyness of work and the day to day of life and to reflect on my life and spirituality.”

“With no responsibility other than to make sure that you put one foot in front of the other and keep going, it means you can take a step back and spend time with your fellow pilgrims and more importantly God,” she noted.

“There is a lot of time for reflection and prayer.”

Joyce said pilgrims have become her “family” throughout the year with many reunions and shared experiences that have strengthened their relationship.

In a March 20 announcement for the event, Student Cross referenced Pope Francis' recent call to Christians to be disciples of the Lord by acknowledging and professing the death and resurrection of Christ.

“When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord,” the Pope told cardinals during his first Mass as pontiff March 14.

Known as Britain's oldest annual pilgrimage, Student Cross began in 1948. Participants are not limited to students and Christians of all denominations, as well as non-Christians, take part in the event.

Tags: Holy Week, Church in the U.K.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
20

Liturgical Calendar

December 20, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14