|High Mass in a field on the way.
The dates are 6-10 June 2014.
The usual cost of £260 is reduced by £100 for each of fifteen places sponsored by the Latin Mass Society.
The British contingent gather in London on Friday 6th, for an early morning Mass in Westminster Cathedral crypt and a coach and ferry journey to France. The whole pilgrimage comes together on Saturday morning in Notre Dame and sets off. There are two nights under canvas, and the big final Mass is in the early afternoon on Monday. The British pilgrims spend a night in Chartres in a hotel and return on Tuesday.
It is possible to join the pilgrimage on Saturday morning and head home immediately after Mass on the Monday, for those short of time. The group journey out is recommended, however, especially for those new to the pilgrimage.
The Chartres Pilgrimage is an unforgettable experience. There is nothing like it in the Catholic world: approximately 10,000 people walking together the 78 miles from Paris to Chartres, united in prayer and intention.
The two times I have done it it has been hot; other years it rains. There is no escaping the fact that it is tough: significantly more demanding than the LMS Pilgrimage to Walsingham. If you can't continue to walk you will, of course, be looked after, by the amazing Order of Malta first aid teams who set up at intervals along the way.
|The Children's Chapter: they have a shortened route.
One of the highlights of the pilgrimage is Benediction and Exposition on the second night. You are conscious of the intensity of the prayer: people take big intentions to Chartres!
|Benediction and Exposition, at the second campsite
It is, above all, a joyous experience. It is impossible to describe the effect of the prayers and songs, the camaraderie and sense of purpose, over three days. We also walk through some lovely French countryside. The sight of Chartres Cathedral on the last day, appearing on the horizon and growing gradually larger, is quite something. This is, of course, perhaps the greatest achievement of Medieval architecture in the world.
Pluck up your courage and come to Chartres!
|Journey's end: standard bearers processing out of Chartres Cathedral
These photos are from 2010; see the full set here.