The picture that is above this article is that of the Slipper Chapel at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk. Every year during the last weekend of August the Shrine is host to the Youth 2000 Festival which many Travelling Families attend.
Shortly after I was appointed National Catholic Chaplain for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers l attended the Festival and I’m looking forward to being able to go again for a longer stretch this year.
Since I was appointed National Chaplain my role has taken me from Walsingham in Norfolk up to Cumbria in the North West where I attended the annual Horse Fair at Appleby in Cumbria which attracts over 3,000 people from all over the country. The photographs taken by Father Phil Conner on the home page give you a flavour of what the Horse Fair is like.
These visits have helped me to see how the Holy Spirit is working in Traveller Communities across the country and also to see how priests and religious on the ground are providing practical and spiritual assistance to assist these communities.
Looking ahead, we are planning a National Travellers Mass to take place at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, 24th February at 2.30pm to which you are all warmly invited. We are also putting together some Lenten resources for prayer groups which will be available for downloading from Lent next year.