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Grandparents pilgrimage to Walsingham

Grandmothers and grandfathers from all over the United Kingdom will converge on the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham next weekend for the ninth annual National Grandparents’ Pilgrimage.

The event  on Saturday, 24 July, will be "a family day of faith and fun – and an opportunity to celebrate grandparents everywhere, right back to St Joachim and St Anne, the grandparents of Jesus."

Monday next, 26 July, is the Feast Day of St Joachim and St Anne, and Pilgrimage organiser Catherine Wiley says “there has never been a more important time for grandparents in the church.”

Mrs Wiley is the founder of the Catholic Grandparents Association, which has begun to flourish in her native Ireland and she adds: “With so many families experiencing difficulties and break-up, grandparents often play a crucial role. Their relationship with their grandchildren is one of unconditional love.

“This Pilgrimage helps grandparents in their efforts to pass on the Catholic faith to their grandchildren.

“It also supports them in their own faith and helps them address sensitive issues regarding faith in these days of broken and fragmented families.

“It will also honour all grandparents alive and dead for all they have done down through the ages in the transmission of the faith.”

The Pilgrimage will be led by Fr Alan Williams, Director, Shrine of Our Lady, Walsingham, and is expected to attract an attendance in excess of a thousand.

The day will start at noon with a Pilgrimage Mass, and will feature a reflection by Mrs Wiley; liturgy by grandchildren; crowning of Our Lady’s Statue with flowers; and fun events including funfair, bouncing castles, clowns, games, and climbing wall.

Walsingham Choir will provide music and song.  For more details see: www.CatholicGrandparentsAssociation.com