Fifteen of us aged 15 to 78 spent the weekend at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk. Walsingham has been a special place for me for more than 25 years and it never fails to touch me in ways in cannot begin to explain.

It is a beautiful village near the cost, the Shrine is lovingly cared for with delightful gardens, the accommodation is excellent and the food is really good. All this helps to make the long journey worthwhile – and also Walsingham never fails to annoy me (but here it gets more personal – nevertheless I go there as often as I can).

In spite of the weather forecast being abysmal we spent a sunny day in Wells-next-the-Sea, prayed together and individually, got to know each other better and looked out for each other. It would be difficult to imagine a more diverse group of people, and it gives me pride and joy to see what a joyful bunch of people we are in St Andrew’s.

One tangible outcome of the trip is the formation of a Cell of Our Lady of Walsingham at St Andrew’s which will function as the Pastoral Team of the Parish. We will meet every 2 or 3 months and pray for people in the parish and beyond, arrange visits and home communion and continue to pray for each other. This group is open to all – if you are interested please have a conversation with myself of Gillian Aird.

Next year’s Parish Weekend Pilgrimage is already in the diary: we will be going from Friday 28th October to Sunday 30 October. Cost for adults will be around £170 and children around £90 – places on a first come first served basis, talk to me if you would like to come!