The Annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes takes place from Friday 7th to Thursday 13th July 2023.
The first Leeds Diocesan Pilgrimage started in 1928. Only two diocesan groups predate us, namely Liverpool and Salford.
Our annual Lourdes Pilgrimage provides unique opportunity to gather as a Diocese with the Bishop to pray and journey in faith. It is a time to stand apart from the rigours of life and seek the peace, healing and grace which a pilgrimage experience can afford. Pilgrims come from all parts of the Diocese and beyond. In Lourdes we encounter pilgrims from all parts of the world.
Sick and less able adult pilgrims who require assistance are helped by the 300 or so young pilgrims from diocesan schools and colleges. These young people come as pilgrims too.
The hospitality team is made up of carers, nurses and doctors, all volunteers and self-funding, to support the sick and less able. They serve in a spirit inspired by love of God and love of neighbour.
The Pilgrimage accepts all Catholic Safeguarding requirements and fully implements the legislation.
Pilgrimage Leader: Rt Rev Marcus Stock, The Bishop of Leeds
Pilgrimage Director: Rev Fr Phillip Hall
Operational Director: Mrs Kim O’Connor
President of Hospitality: Mrs Anita Taylor
Director of Liturgies: Rev Fr Sean Crawley
Youth Director: Rev Fr Marc Homsey
Schools Co-ordinator: Ms Jessica Wilkinson
Lead Doctor: Dr. Jeanette Turley
Chief Nurse: Mrs Stephanie Turner
Safeguarding Officer: Angela Harvey, Jessica Wilkinson
Enquiries about the Pilgrimage should be addressed to Rev. Phillip Hall at:
St Benedict’s Presbytery,
0113 286 3224
The Diocese of Leeds Lourdes Pilgrimage Fund
The Lourdes Pilgrimage Fund supports the running of the Pilgrimage including the hire of equipment and medical supplies. The Fund sponsors sick and less-able pilgrims unable to meet the full cost of a pilgrimage. Donations are gratefully received. If you would be like to further support the Leeds Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, you may like to make a donation or consider a legacy, so that others may benefit from your gift.
Please send donations to:
The Treasurer at The Lourdes Office, address as above.
Cheques to be made payable to: Diocese of Leeds – Lourdes Fund
Diocese of Leeds Friends of Lourdes
- To keep pilgrims in touch with each other through meetings and newsletters
- Organise fund-raising social events for the benefit of the Lourdes Fund – All are welcome
- Pray with Pilgrims
- Foster devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes and St Bernadette
New members are very welcome. Belonging to the Friends is a great way to meet socially with Pilgrim Organisers, helpers and other pilgrims. Please consider joining.
Deacon Nick Baggio, a former Director of the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes died on 16th January aged seventy-one.
‘May his soul through the mercy of God, rest in peace. May he be comforted in paradise, there with St Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes.’
The 2023 Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham will take place on Saturday 30 September, commencing with the Angelus at 12.00 noon followed by Mass at the National Shrine.
Walsingham – a brief history
Walsingham, in north Norfolk, has been a place of pilgrimage since medieval times, when for most people travel to Rome or Compostella was virtually impossible. The original shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, founded in 1061, was destroyed at the Reformation.
Many barren years passed until the Slipper Chapel, a 14th century wayside pilgrim chapel, was restored, and pilgrimage to Walsingham began once more. In 1934, the English bishops named the Slipper Chapel the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady.
Walsingham – its spirituality
The idea of going on pilgrimage is deeply embedded in the Christian faith, and, earlier still, in the Jewish tradition. Every year Mary and Joseph joined the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, taking Jesus with them. Huge numbers today similarly make a pilgrimage to many Holy Places around the world, hundreds of thousands of them to Walsingham.
Almost everyone speaks of the peace they find in Walsingham, an atmosphere which some detect even on the approaching lanes. There are some who find their way to Walsingham to give thanks for some blessing in their lives. Others come to make a new start or find some way through confusion in their lives. There may be a desire to seek forgiveness in confession and reconciliation, or return to the Church. The sacrament of the sick is frequently received here, and people come to find healing, strength and God’s grace through the prayers of Our Lady.
The spirituality behind everything in Walsingham is to be found in the words of Our Lady when she was asked to become the mother of the Lord. Instead of questioning she simply responded, ‘Let it be done to me according to your word’ (Luke 1: 26). She lovingly sought and chose to do the will of God.
Whatever motivates a person to come to Walsingham, there is awakened in the soul open to God a desire to try and do his will. Discovering the will of God, let alone doing it, is often far from easy. On numerous occasions in the Gospel Mary ‘pondered these things in her heart’. Walsingham is gentle, offering space and time to ponder and pray, and work things out. It was in this spirit that Richeldis responded to the request made of her to build in Walsingham a replica of the home in Nazareth where Mary had made her initial response to God. Walsingham is the home of Mary where, like a mother, she is able to influence, guide, teach and love us if we let her, just as she did her Son. Most importantly, she asks us to say with her and through her, ‘Let it be done to me according to your word’.
Leeds Branch Contacts: Pilgrimage Director and Chaplain: Rev Fr Benjamin Griffiths, 11 Avondale Court, Shadwell, Leeds LS17 6DT email@example.com
Pope Francis has long encouraged Catholics who are able to walk some or all of the way to visit Shrines and Holy Places on foot.
Our Diocesan Walking Pilgrimages have a Laudato Si’ focus and are also the inspiration for a unique project initiated by author and pilgrim Dr Philip McCarthy …
St Wilfrid’s Way
The 9th Annual St Wilfrid’s Way Diocesan Pilgrimage will take place on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 October 2024. Please sign up by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
As a follow-up to his St Patrick’s, Huddersfield to Leeds Cathedral ‘Camino’ instituted in the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Stephen Habron, a parishioner at Holy Redeemer Parish, Huddersfield, compiled a booklet on a new ‘Camino’ route: from Leeds Cathedral to Ripon via Knaresborough, Bishop Thornton and Fountains Abbey.
In 2016 this became a new official diocesan pilgrimage, St Wilfrid’s Way, which takes place each October, over two days around the time of St Wilfrid’s Feast Day (12 October). Anyone may walk either all or ANY part of the Camino (staying overnight en route OR going home). All those volunteering to provide hospitality, sustenance or transport for the walkers are pilgrims too –and are especially welcome!
The walk is in stages; almost all on country tracks and paths, but still within a short distance of the A61 and ‘bus and train services. We pass through the natural environment on the way to visit some of the most historic sacred sites in the Diocese for Mass, the Rosary and other devotions, just a few of which include: the mediaeval wayside shrine of Our Lady of the Crag in Knaresborough; our Parish of St Joseph’s, Bishop Thornton where the upper room of the Presbytery is the oldest Mass House in the Diocese; Markenfield Hall with its Recusant Catholic links; the National Trust and World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey and finally Ripon, which was home to the Shrine of St Wilfrid in Ripon Cathedral and is where the Pilgrimage ends with Mass at the Parish Church of St Wilfrid, designed by Joseph Hansom and Edward Pugin and one of the architectural treasures of our Diocese.
Copies of the St Wilfrid’s Way route are updated each year and will be FREE to download from our website (hard copies will be available in due course at the back of Leeds Cathedral and in St Patrick’s Church in Holy Redeemer Parish, Huddersfield).
If you are interested in walking St Wilfrid’s Way in 2023, contact Rowan Morton-Gledhill via email@example.com
The entire route (as walked in October 2018) is on WikiLoc: https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/st-wilfrids-way-2018-29700706
Laudato Si’ Pilgrimages
Watch this space for news of the next Laudato Si’ Mini-Pilgrimage Walk! Our last visit was on Sunday 7 November 2021 – and we remember in our prayers the late Paul Elgar, the Myddelton Farm Estate Manager whose conservation knowledge and expertise was so much a part of these mini-pilgrimages: may he Rest in Peace.
Since 2018 our Laudato Si’ Mini Pilgrimages have been celebrations of God’s Creation and of our care for the earth, Our Common Home. They began as short, seasonal, guided walks through Ilkley’s Myddelton Grange estate woodlands to the Calvary led by Estate Manager Paul Elgar who initiated and implemented diocesan conservation projects on the Myddelton site. It is thanks to parishioners at Sacred Heart, Ilkley who came on that first ‘pilgrimage recce’ that proposals for wheelchair-accessible pilgrimages to the Calvary are in progress, as well as Laudato Si’ Pilgrimages to other environmentally-important sacred sites within our Diocese, including the Chapel of Our Lady of the Crag and St Robert’s Cave on the banks of the River Nidd at Knaresborough.
Feel free to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions for Laudato Si’ Pilgrimages in YOUR parish; your ideas will be warmly received!
These short pilgrimage routes are especially suitable for school groups and the Diocese of Leeds Faith in Action Awards.