A pilgrimage is journey in faith to a holy place. Making a pilgrimage is spiritually beneficial and brings us closer to God.

People make a pilgrimage for a variety of reasons: to deepen their faith, to seek healing, to find an answer to a question, because they are curious, or to make a fresh start. Pilgrimages allow us to take time out of our busy lives and creates space for prayer, reflection and refreshment. It is also a great way to spend time with and get to know people from church with little distraction.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham

St Matthew’s makes several pilgrimages to the Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk. It is a holy place of National Significance because in medieval times Richeldis de Faverches, the lady of the manor, was taken to the home of Mary in Nazareth where the Angel promised Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. In this vision, Richeldis was asked by Mary to build an exact replica of her house in Nazareth which is why Walsingham is known as England’s Nazareth. This house is called the Holy House and reminds us of the truth that God is not distant from us but became incarnate and shares our life. Walsingham is a beautiful place where we can meet with God. There is a Holy Well there which pilgrims can drink from as a sign of God’s love and healing.

For more information on the Shrine of Walsingham, please visit: https://www.walsinghamanglican.org.uk/

The Parish Pilgrimage

In early May we go to Walsingham for a full weekend programme. Parishioners meet with other pilgrims from across the country and stay in the beautiful accommodation at the Shrine. This all-inclusive weekend is a great time away. Open to all members of the parish, we also have a bursary scheme for those who might find the cost of going prohibitive – because we believe that everyone should be able to go to Walsingham for a weekend (please just speak to Fr Naylor or one of the Churchwardens). It’s a firm commitment of the parish leadership to get all members of St Matthew’s to Walsingham at some point in their time with us. It’s a Holy place where the Gospel is always to the fore.

The National Pilgrimage

Many Christians visit Walsingham for the National Pilgrimage, held on the Spring Bank Holiday in May. This is a day-long event that takes place in the Abbey grounds and begins with a Mass, followed by a Sermon, Procession and Benediction. There is a bus from St Matthew’s on the day and all are welcome to join us.

Adoremus – for Students and Young Adults

The Adoremus pilgrimage is a weekend programme held at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham specifically designed for students and young adults. The weekend offers opportunities for faith-sharing, teaching, prayer and fellowship. Led by a mixture of young priests and lay-people, this pilgrimage is aimed at 18-35 year olds and takes you on a journey with Mary in faith and discipleship to a deeper understanding of Jesus and his Church.

Durham Cathedral – The Shrine of St Cuthbert and the Northern Saints

Every September, we take a coach to Durham Cathedral for the St Cuthbert Translation Festival. Organised by Anglo-Catholics in the Diocese of Durham, The Feast of the Translation of the Relics of St Cuthbert is a festival where we commemorate the occasion when St Cuthbert’s body and other relics were taken to their final resting place in the cathedral itself. Pilgrims gather from around the North of England for a Mass and Procession to the Shrine of St Cuthbert. St Cuthbert is the patron saint of the North of England and Durham connects us to the early church in England.


Closer to home is the Shrine of Our Lady of Egmanton in Nottinghamshire. The origin of the Shrine is a reported apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to a local woman in Ladywood before the 12th century.  Destroyed during the Reformation in 1547, the Shrine was restored in the late 19th century. The Society parishes in the Diocese of Sheffield normally gather in pilgrimage in July at St Mary’s Church where the Shrine is. For more information on the Shrine of Our Lady of Egmanton, please visit http://www.egmanton-shrine.net/

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 2019

A number of our congregation joined with other pilgrims from across the country in November 2019 to visit the Holy Land.

A week-long trip included stays in Galilee and Jerusalem walking in the footsteps of Jesus. We visited the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Mount Tabor, Bethlehem, the Baptism site of Jesus and the Garden of Gethsemane, Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to name a few.

A pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a must for all Christians if they can and many people say that after visiting this wonderful place, they never read the bible in the same way again. Look out for future pilgrimages to the Holy Land organised by Fr Naylor.