On a swelteringly hot summer’s afternoon, on Sunday July 3, Manchester saw the 120th holding of the annual Madonna del Rosario walk of faith and procession by the Manchester Italian Association through the city centre.
The procession comprised over 1,500 Catholics and departed from its traditional starting point of St Michael’s church in Ancoats, in east-central Manchester.
The Manchester Italians were also joined this year by small contingents from non-Italian parishes elsewhere in the Greater Manchester area – namely, St Anne’s parish in Ancoats, St Patrick’s parish in Collyhurst, St Malachy’s parish in Collyhurst and St Peter’s parish in Middleton.
The circular route of this Manchester walk of faith was some three miles in its entirety, from George Leigh Street in Ancoats down to Manchester Town Hall, and returning to Ancoats again via Portland Street and Newton Street.
The walkers, as usual, were joined by several local civic dignitaries, including the present Lord Mayor of Manchester, Harry Lyons, and Lady Mayoress Alison Cain, as well as Tony Lloyd MP. Mr Lloyd not only represents central Manchester in the House of Commons but he is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party.
At the end of the procession the walkers were led in prayers by two local priests, and then sang two rousing choruses of “Faith of Our Fathers” accompanied by a band.