Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Walsingham Pilgrimage Volunteers needed, 1: cooks and cleaners


Booking is now open for the LMS Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham, which takes place from Thursday 22nd August to Sunday 25th August. But before we can welcome 200+ pilgrims, we need to be able to look after them. We need volunteers who give up their chance to walk in order to do some quite unglamourous jobs, such as cooking and cleaning.

Each day of the walk there is breakfast and an evening meal. We don't just give pilgrims a paper cup of coffee or an empty milk carton of instant soup (happy though these memories of Chartres are!). While the size of the pilgrimage makes it possible, our cooking team continues to provide real food: bread and jam, porridge and hard boiled eggs for breakfast, and a hot meal made from basic ingredients in the evening. 

There is plenty of penance to be had in getting up early to walk 20 miles or so, but our pilgrims don't set off with an empty stomach, and the evenings are convivial. It is another element of Catholic culture which we are aiming to restore, and a reflection of our respect for the walking pilgrims.

Quisquis enim potum dederit vobis calicem aquæ in nomine meo, quia Christi estis : amen dico vobis, non perdet mercedem suam. Mark 9:41

For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.


The cooking team is led by a professionally qualified cook, and the core team has many years' experience of cooking for the pilgrims in the unique conditions of the Walsingham Pilgrimage. They need help from a wider group of people who would like to participate in the pilgrimage in this special way, both in preparing meals and in preparing venues and cleaning them after the pilgrims have departed.

You do not need to be a highly-skilled cook. What you do need is patience, an even temper, a willingness to do what you are asked even if this is not very interesting, a willingness to work in a team and make yourself as useful as possible, plus commitment and stamina.

Because this is hard work. Being a volunteer in an event like this is not the easy option, and precisely for this reason all the graces of the pilgrimage are available. 

It may be impossible for you to attend some of the main Masses, but Masses are celebrated specially for the volunteers, and we hope to have a chaplain just for the volunteers.

If you wish to be considered for this role, email walsinghampilgrimage@lms.org.uk

A concession to mechanisation.

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