On the 24th May a new “waymarked Walsingham Way” was launched. The Revd Dr Peter Doll, Norwich Anglican Cathedral’s Canon Librarian and Vice-Dean, said: “The Walsingham Way has been established not only for those who wish to make a spiritual journey to a holy place but also for those seeking a connection with the natural environment, the heritage of the region, and physical and mental well-being. The hope is that it will draw green, sustainable tourism into the Wensum Valley and encourage additional visits to attractions along the route, such as the Bishop’s Palace at North Elmham, historic churches, and the Shrines, Abbey Grounds, and other attractions at Walsingham.”
Elmham was the See of the late Saxon Bishops of East Anglia until 1406 when the see moved to Thetford. North Elmham was the title used by Bishop Clark as auxiliary Bishop of Northampton Diocese before becoming the first Bishop of East Anglia in 1976. It is also recalled in the title of our Accommodation, Elmham House.
The route will hopefully also expand demand for accommodation and catering and drive the creation of businesses and jobs supporting the needs of walkers and cyclists along the route.” Norwich Anglican Cathedral has been working in partnership with the Catholic Cathedral
of St John the Baptist, the Anglican Shrine and the Catholic Basilica and
National Shrine, the Walsingham Development Group and many others. The project has also been supported by funding from the European Union LEADER funding for rural economic development, the Diocese of Norwich, the John Jarrold Foundation and Norfolk County Council, and by the considerable goodwill of volunteers, landowners and parish councils”.
Walkers on the 37 mile path will be guided by signs with the newly designed W M logo which combines two “W”s and a crowned “M”.
The Rt Revd Mgr Canon Philip Moger, Rector of the Catholic Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, said at the launch: “Walsingham is much more than a pleasant Norfolk village, but, for centuries, has been a place of pilgrimage, where people from all sorts of backgrounds have journeyed to Our Lady’s shrine to find peace, restoration, new hope and a fresh start. I warmly welcome the Walsingham Way, on which pilgrims, enquirers and the curious, may journey on foot following ancient routes from Norwich, to reach the place, known for many centuries, as ‘England’s Nazareth’.
Hopefully some of our younger members will be able to make use of this new route as they plan their visit to the National Shrine
N.B. The information in this article is mostly drawn from the Press Release from the event.