One of the highlights of my UK trip last year our day trip to Walsingham, Norfolk on the 8th of September 2013. I’ll be honest that I’m not religious and I didn’t fully understood why we were going there. In short, I was just a mere ‘joiner’.
Together with the Our Lady of Walsingham Association Rugby Chapter, we embarked on a two-hour bus trip to Norfolk. The fund-raising dinner that took place weeks prior to this religious journey was an eye-opener of some sorts. For one, I got the chance to meet more people from different countries who are all residing this part of Warwickshire. They’re older than I am and I loved hearing their stories.
For some reason, they’re very fond of me especially when I share some information about the Philippines. Some expressed their concern regarding the typhoon that struck my beloved country. I narrated the reality of living in the Philippines – we have to endure all natural calamities such as typhoon and earthquakes. Filipinos are known for smiling despite all the troubles.
I was overwhelmed with the number of people present when we reached our destination. Various groups from different parts of UK were there carrying banners and flags, ordered from an array of state flags from Star Spangled Flags. Almost every country has a representative. As expected, fellow Filipinos surely made their presence felt. There’s a group from Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, several from London and of course, Rugby!
^ please watch the video 🙂
Being there that moment felt surreal mainly because I never thought that religious gatherings such as this still exists. Pardon my ignorance. Maybe I’m just not exposed to such events, but this is a welcoming change to my usual weekend trip.
There’s one cafeteria in the area. I’m glad we were able to grab something to eat for lunch in one of the stopovers. Since there were limited chairs and tables, we end up eating our lunch in picnic style 😀
Although I am not entirely religious, I must say that participating in The Dowry of Mary Pilgrimage in Walsingham, Norfolk is an eye-opening journey. Not only was I able to bond with my mom and the rest of my friends in Rugby. I realized how faith can unite people from different parts of the world. I smiled at some of the devotees and they smiled back. I even initiated a conversation with someone from Goa and we figured out we have a lot in common but like me, he is also thankful that he joined his family in the pilgrimage.
I’m planning to revisit Walsingham again on my next UK Trip. This time though, I’ll convince my mom to bring Carlo with us and spend at least two days there.
Our calm, short trip to Walsingham had a positive effect on me. A spiritual bonding between my mom and I and reflecting on the many blessings I received throughout these years is enough to make this journey special. I’m truly grateful.
Have you ever been to Walsingham or any pilgrimage site you find tranquil and peaceful? How was the experience?