We meet up on the Friday before Palm
Sunday at the Catholic Chaplaincy in Oxford. At just over 130 miles,
Oxford leg walks further than the other groups of Student Cross.
This doesn't mean that you have to be super fit to do it, as there
are plenty of opportunities for a break.
Our route takes us around Milton Keynes, Bury St Edmunds and
Norwich, without us stopping at any of the three. Buses take us from
Buckinghamshire to Suffolk and around Norwich to help us along the
way. The Oxford leg route is a bit like our journey with Christ. It
may not be the most direct, but you get there at the end.
The liturgy during the week is a mixture of organised (services with
the parishes that we walk through) and personal (there are
opportunities for pilgrims to share thoughts with the rest of the
group). Even though we are seemingly always on the move, there are
plenty of opportunities for quiet reflection.
It is a unique way of celebrating Christ's death and resurrection.
Carrying a cross, singing hymns and generally giving ten days back
to God in the middle of a busy life. It is the perfect opportunity
to stop and spiritually refresh yourself.
What makes Oxford leg is the people who walk it. With the exception
of one night which we spend with parishioners, the leg is one for
the whole pilgrimage. We pray, cook, eat, sleep and laugh together.
Everyone has their place and is made to feel one of the group. You
may not know anyone at the beginning of the pilgrimage, but by the
end you'll be sad to see us go.
This small town in north Norfolk houses shrines to Our Lady and
a place of Pilgrimage for many. We arrive on Good Friday
afternoon; with a sense of solemnity for the occasion - marked by a
service of the Lord's Passion -
but also with a sense of exhilaration for it will soon be time
to celebrate the resurrection. Over the weekend there is time to
rest, but also time to pray, reflect and mingle
with pilgrims from other Legs. A high point of the weekend is
Saturday night with a Easter Vigil Mass, after which the
pilgrims party in further celebration well into the early hours.
Then it is out into the open air (weather permitting) for an
Easter Sunday celebration - an Anglican Eucharist. Coaches are available to transport
people from Walsingham to Leicester or London on Easter Sunday.