On Sunday 30th August we had our first pilgrimage to Canterbury. After Mass in a village outside Canterbury, over 20 pilgrims, ranging in age from 13 to 83 coming from all over England, France, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, set off to walk along the Pilgrims Way. This route is hallowed by pilgrims of old visiting the shrine of St Thomas Becket and we were blessed with perfect weather. In addition to our prayers and hymn singing, we were also able to renew old and make new friends.
After three hours we arrived in Canterbury and stopped at the Church of St Dunstan where we able to visit the chapel in which the head of St Thomas More is interred. Following that, we processed up the High Street to St Thomas’s Church where we could venerate and see the relics of St Thomas Becket. The day ended with a trip to the Cathedral Cloisters.
On Monday morning one of the Slovak pilgrims was Confirmed in the chapel of Regina Martyrum House by Bishop Williamson and Mass was then said. After a hearty breakfast, all the pilgrims set off for Aylesford Friary, home of the Carmelites in England, most notably of St Simon Stock of the Scapular vision renown. The cranium of St Simon is housed in a huge reliquary in whose chapel we were able say the Rosary. After lunch and a tour around the Friary we conclude with another Rosary in the chapel of the Infant of Prague. At the end of our visit, the Bishop told us of his first trip to Aylesford 44 years before, where he was staying just before he was received in the Church. It was here when talking to a fellow layman that he began to realise the importance of Our Lady’s role in the world and world events.