Post-Pilgrimage Blues III

Stunning: Oxburgh Hall
The second day of walking took us to Oxburgh Hall where we were able to view the stunning now National Trust-owned house which hid Priests during the reformation in its cleverly disguised priest holes in its fortified walls.

We had the great honour and privilege of attending Mass in the Extraordinary From at the Chapel near to the house. Catholic family, the kind and hospitable Bedingfields still live there and we were treated by them to coffee, biscuits and ginger cake in their part of the house after Mass. The chapel is very beautiful. So much of the pilgrimage was steeped in our Catholic heritage and tradition. The whole idea of walking a pilgrimage which 'countless pilgrims have trod' was captivating - the idea that so many before us have made this pilgrimage and there at Oxburgh Hall was more living testimony to previous ages of the Catholic Faith.

The Chapel at Oxburgh Hall (Photo by Dr Joseph Shaw, LMS)
From Oxburgh Hall we walked on (with hope in our hearts) until we arrived at a village hall where a couple of nice ladies who cook for pilgrims cooked us some cottage pie and some bread and butter pudding for dessert.

Afterwards we went to the Rose & Crown pub and had a couple of drinks. The more hardcore among us stayed up late, I was asked to get my guitar and we sang Hey Jude, Let it Be, Hero, Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, Total Eclipse of the Heart and an impromptu rendition of Gay Masses. The landlord didn't mind at all and he seemed to see it all as free entertainment for his customers. I got the distinct impression that night that we were re-creating 'merry old England' and, of course, by about 12am, this England was merry indeed...in a penitential kind of a way, of course. I collapsed in my tent knowing that Our Lady was pleased because we had spread Catholic joy in a nearby pub and was woken at 5am again to start the third walking day of the pilgrimage...

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