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I had an opportunity to experience a different way to commemorate the Holy Week here in the UK.
It was my first time to join a pilgrimage. A friend of mine organised a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Walsingham in Walsingham, Norfolk from Birmingham with our fellow Filipino friends.
Our Lady of Walsingham Basilica
Lenten season is widely observed all over the world most especially to the Christian countries.
The Catholic devotees from all over the UK, including a big number of fellow Filipinos, joined us in Walsingham in commemorating the Palm Sunday of the Lenten season.
The Slipper chapel is one of the most sacred and historical chapels here in the UK. It was established in 1061 around the Norman occupation in Britain. It was built as an exact replica of the house where the Annunciation occurred in Nazareth.
Britain had a reformation of faith around 1538 during the reign of King Henry VIII when the Pope declined to grant his divorce with his first wife. All the Catholic churches in England was burnt to the ground and a strict rule not to practice the Catholic faith. It was on 1829 when the Catholic emancipation was granted again and can freely express the devotion in public.
In 1897, the Slipper Chapel was rebuilt and re-established as a house of faith for the Roman Catholic devotees in Britain. From then on, pilgrims from all over the UK came to pay their respect to the Our Lady of Walsingham.
Every year, the Filipino community here in the UK congregate to observe and celebrate the whole Lenten season most especially during the Easter Sunday.
During our visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, we started the Palm Sunday celebration service with the station of the cross at the big courtyard of the shrine. It was then followed by Holy Mile Pilgrims route to the Our Lady of Walsingham Basilica where the Slipper Chapel is located.
After the mile pilgrimage walk from the Shrine to Basilica, we enjoyed our lunch Filipino style. It was lovely to have experienced the spirit of Filipino community once again. It always made me feel at home.
We started the Palm Sunday mass service and give thanks to the Lord for the successful and peaceful congregation of the pilgrims to the Our Lady of Walsingham shrine in Norfolk.
I’m glad I joined the pilgrimage with my fellow Filipinos. It was a long 4-hour journey to Norfolk but it was a fantastic day of faith and experience.