Romford pilgrims visit England’s Lourdes

CHRISTIANS from a Romford parish went on a pilgrimage to England’s answer to Lourdes over the weekend.

The 18 parishioners of St Andrew Church in St Andrews Road, visited the town, known as ‘England’s Nazareth’ to pay tribute to Our Lady of Walsingham at the shrine built in her name.

The shrine was once the holiest site in England and one of the best known after a Saxon woman, Richeldis de Faverches, reported seeing Mary, the mother of Christ, in a vision while she was in the village.

It was abandoned after the Reformation but revived in the 1930s.

Vicar of St Andrew’s Church, who leads the pilgramage every year, said: “It’s a place of reflection, a place of tranquillity, a place of mystery and a place of prayer.

“People go there for healing in their mind and spirit.”

He added that he was in talks with the shrine’s education department to “bring Walsingham to Romford” and include local schools in workshops which look at history and worship through the Walsingham experience.