Throughout the festivities they will remember the group of young men who in 1948 first took up a cross and walked from London to Walsingham for an Easter pilgrimage. The Jubilee day will include speeches by high profile Student Cross supporters including Chris Bain (Director of CAFOD) and Timothy Radcliffe OP (Former Master of the Dominican Order, and Patron of the Student Cross Association). A day of music and liturgy will include an ecumenical service of celebration and the event will be rounded off in style with a black-tie ball with after-dinner speaker Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon OP, Bishop of Nottingham.
This year's pilgrimage saw over 250 people of all ages set out on their journeys from various parts of England in ten groups (known as 'Legs\). They walked around 120 miles carrying a wooden cross as a visible witness to their faith and gathered together in Walsingham on Good Friday for an Easter celebration like no other. David Ring, the national director of the pilgrimage this year said: "For Student Cross to have been around for sixty years is a fantastic achievement. It also shows that Christianity is still flourishing in today's society." "Student Cross has a profound effect on the lives of those who take up the challenge. It is a week of joy, of friendships forged for life and liturgy as never experienced before with one or two painful blisters thrown in!"
However, he said: "Student Cross is about more than just those that walk". 'The Legs receive incredible support on the way from parishioners and residents who often feed and house pilgrims for the night. The pilgrimage is an important part of the Easter preparation for many parishes we walk through - everyone who helps us to get to Walsingham, as well as those who welcome us when we get there are part of the pilgrimage.' It is hoped that the Diamond Jubilee celebrations will encourage even more people to experience Student Cross for themselves. This year's national director, Felicity Cairns is keen to promote the pilgrimage; "If anyone is looking for a unique way to celebrate Easter and experience fully the community of pilgrimage then Student Cross is for them!" Next year's Student Cross pilgrimage, which takes place 4-12 April 2009