Walsingham Children's Pilgrimage 2008 – Tree of Life

Photo by Jane King

A weekend which promised snow, and had everything from hail, frogs, sun and rain. It was a weekend in which some young person climbed into the loft of one of the residences and put his foot through the ceiling, and in which nearly 200 children aged 7-11 gathered to speak of Thomas, the Cross not as a tree of death, but as a Tree of Life and a weekend at which I was truely proud of the work and mission of my children: the technical, dramatic and worship skills of Liam and the artistic and creative skills of Emma as well as the good natured exuberance of Zoë.

First Visit Video: Tree of Life


Doubting Thomas Story animated by Emma


Photo by Jane King

Playing St Thomas in the Reconciliation Chapel with St John (Fr Tim Thorp) and Jeremy Kyle (Fr. Philip Barnes)

It was a wonderful weekend. Lots of creativity, lots of laughter. The Disco was so feral, I nominated it as “Lord of the Flies set to Music” as 200 children ran riot in a marquee and fought with sword balloons, trampling on one another to get a bag of crisps. The worship and teaching was amazing: contextual and relevant and the technology sort-of behaved itself. I was glad Liam was on hand to remain calm in the face of adversity and a video mixer which misbehaved.

Young People reaching for the Lasers, and the Crisps.

We also buried a time capsule. I filmed it and stuck it to an edit of Bowie’s “Little Wonder”. Fr North was marvellous with the kids who were pulled out of a hat to bury the thing. Inside it was archive material, a DVD of Children’s and Youth Pilgrimage Videos, letters from the Children (but Roses are Red, Violets are Blue. I’m from the Past, and you smell of Poo was excluded for some reason) and other Shrine archive materials.

Watch the Time Capsule event: nice hard hats.