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About 3,000 pilgrims mark New Dawn at Walsingham

The five-day New Dawn conference had visitors from Europe, Russia and Africa

By on Monday, 15 August 2011

The rosary procession to Walsingham Priory grounds leaves the conference site                                                                          Photos: Adrian Cummins

The rosary procession to Walsingham Priory grounds leaves the conference site Photos: Adrian Cummins

An estimated 3,000 pilgrims attended the 25th annual New Dawn in the Church Conference at Walsingham on August 1.

Myles Dempsey of the Prince of Peace Community introduced the five-day conference, welcoming visitors from across Britain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Portugal, African nations and even Russia.

In the centre of what is a tented village the main marquee hosts the keynote speaker of each day, the celebration of Holy Mass and the evening services of reconciliation and healing.

The highlight of the week for many was the open-air Mass in the grounds of the old priory in Walsingham. The pilgrims left the conference site and, while reciting the rosary, walked one mile from the Slipper Chapel to the site of the pre-Reformation priory.

Many young people from the youth camp can be seen walking the “holy mile” in their bare feet, a tradition reaching back to the earliest of times. Over the week pilgrims reported a feeling of joy and an experience of being part of a true family of faith.