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Pilgrims visited park’s chapel as they passed through town on long Easter journey

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Lynn welcomed pilgrims from far and wide as they travelled through the town as part of a week-long journey.Last Wednesday, Lynn hosted groups travelling the Midland and Northern legs of the Pilgrim Cross to Walsingham.The Midland leg covered 114 miles from Leicester, while the Northern leg covered 120 miles from Nottingham.

Mayor Margaret Wilkinson and the Friends of the Walks greet pilgrims

Pilgrim Cross is an inclusive Easter pilgrimage for all Christians. Whether joining virtually or walking for one, three, or seven days, it has options that suit all physical abilities, ages, and levels of faith.The pilgrims, numbering 25 in each group, carried a large cross on their journey, which lasted seven days before the groups reached Lynn. Once here, they enjoyed a stopover before journeying on to complete their pilgrimage at the Shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham on Easter Friday.

Pilgrims approach the Red Mount Chapel in The Walks

Having arrived by the ferry from West Lynn, the first group of pilgrims, who had journeyed from Leicester, headed for the The Walks and the Red Mount Chapel, where they were met and warmly welcomed by the borough mayor, Cllr Margaret Wilkinson, who was joined by members of the Friends of the Walks group and children from Greyfriars Academy.The 15th-century Red Mount chapel was originally constructed as a waypoint for pilgrims arriving in Lynn on foot via the ferry or ship from the continent on their way to Walsingham, which at the time was the most popular pilgrimage site apart from Canterbury.Pilgrimages were banned by Henry VIII at the time of the Reformation in 1537.However, some continued to make the trip – and pilgrims, on this annual modern-day pilgrimage, maintain the tradition of visiting the town’s historic 15th-century chapel. The Midland pilgrimage is described as the ‘joyest leg’, which very aptly described the pilgrims when they arrived, being full of fun and energy despite the distance they had already covered on foot since leaving Leicester.One of their stated aims is to enjoy a mix of traditional and more modern elements including poetry and music from outside of the church tradition. Therefore, after enjoying the refreshments provided by the Friends of the Walks, they retired to the upper chapel for a service and hymns.These concluded, appropriately, with a noisy rendition of John Bunyan’s classic ‘To Be A Pilgrim’.

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