Saturday, 7 June 2008

The 2008 Ladyewell Pilgrimage.

The (unique?) canopy over the altar in the parish church.

The Sanctuary.

The Churchyard.

The outside of the Church again.

Our Lady makes her way to the shrine.

The Angelus is sung before the procession.

Inside the Church.

The Bishop of Pontefract.

The parish church from the graveyard. As it was built before the Catholic emancipation act, the exterior is quite plain.

Some of the congregation.

Last year we had peacocks crowing as we entered the shrine, this year it was dairy cattle.

The processional statue gets off to a start.

Just a nonchalent walk in a graveyard.

The Bishop and Deacons leave the Parish Church at the beginning of the procession.

Mike and Fiona Heppleston who provided the much appreciated music were mysteriously absent as I was taking pictures.

The Bishop and some of the clergy after the Mass.

The Bishop comes out.

The Bishop comes into the outdoor chapel.

Some of the people in the outdoor Chapel.

Fr Tom Hoole, Roman Catholic Shrine Priest, brings the Blessed Sacrament into the outdoors Chapel.

The statue of Our Lady by the well taken from the Stella Maris prayer room.

People queue for anointing with the water from the well.

Fr. Roger Parker, who organises much of the day, giving out notices.

The annual Forward in Faith pilgrimage to Ladyewell got off to a great start with good weather from sunrise onwards. We progressed in our hundreds from all over the North West of England to Fernyhalgh near Preston and the shrine of Our Lady of Ladyewell. We assembled at the local Roman Catholic Church for the beginning of the procession and were happy to see Bishop Tony Robinson of Pontefract the celebrant of the Mass and Frs John Livesley (being ordained Priest this month) and Fr Lee, your other scribe, as the two Deacons. All priests and bishops, of course, unless they rescind their Diaconal orders, are also Deacons, so any priest can act as Deacon at High Mass.

The procession began in the Church with the singing of the Angelus at Midday, before walking to Ladyewell saying the rosary. Upon arrival we had High Mass, the sermon ably preached by Fr John Gribben of the Community of the Resurrection, who reminded us of our duty to feed our sheep and stay faithful to the Church. After Mass was lunch and then sprinkling at the well followed by Benediction given by the Roman Catholic Shrine Priest Fr Tom Hoole.

Such days are a reminder of the fellowship which we share in our Church and the joy inherent in our faith. A short day pilgrimage can only work if it is well attended and joyful and this is something evident in all of our gatherings. We hope and pray that Synod will see fit to allow us to carry on our faithful way, praying for and supporting the Church by our actions and presence.

Today was a good day, in every sense of the word and those who arranged it should be proud that it has taken off so well. There are some pictures of your scribes to follow tomorrow, taken at the end of the day pilgrimage, but this is enough for now I think!