Hundreds of people braved cold, wet and windy conditions across the East Anglian coast (April 29) to join the first-ever Rosary on the Coast prayer initiative.
Scores of people gathered in up to 15 locations across the Norfolk and Suffolk coast including the ruins of Greyfriars Priory atDunwich,led by Dominican friars from Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Cambridge.
A group from Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and St Edmund met at the ruins of St Edmund's Chapel on the cliff atHunstanton,led by Fr Peter Rollings. They were joined by a coach and car loads of people from parishes in Leicester.
At Felixstowe Ferryaround 50 people, led by Fr John Barnes of St Felix Church, Felixstowe, prayed the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.Those who attended were also from St Mary (Ipswich), St Mark’s (Ipswich) and the religious Sisters of Jesus and Mary (Felixstowe).
"It was an extremely cold and windswept afternoon, but the atmosphere was great and helped to take our mind off the cold," said Julian Wong.
In Lowestoft, a small group from Our Lady Star of the Sea, Beccles and Kelvedonwalked to Ness Point, the most easterly location in the UK from the church saying the Rosary, led by Knight of St Columba Chris Brooks and including Apostleship of the Sea port chaplain Patricia Ezra. A further group of around 15 led by Fr Paul Chanh, remained in the church to say the Rosary.
In Southwold the Bee family including four children, representing St Edmund's in Bungay, held their own gathering on the beach by the pier.
Braving the elements at Cart Gap, Happisburgh, next to the lifeboat station, were members of the Sacred Heart Parish led by Elaine Haughton, including the communities from St Helen Hoveton and St John of the Cross Aylsham. They also buried a miraculous medal of Our Blessed Virgin Mary.
At Sea Palling on the Norfolk coast, around 60 people, including students from the University of East Anglia Catholic Society and parishioners from St John the Baptist Cathedral in Norwich, were joined by Bishop Alan Hopes on the beach next to the lifeboat station.
Bishop Alan said: "I commend wholeheartedly this national prayer initiative. Our parishes were encouraged to make their way to a location on the coast, and to say the Rosary in union with Catholics around our country's shores, for three purposes: the renewal of the faith in this Dowry of Mary, a greater recognition in our culture of the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death, and finally for peace for our country and the world, in a time of great instability."
At Wells-next-the-Sea, over 100 people were on the beach where the Rosary was led by Mgr John Armitage and England national co-ordinator Antonia Moffat. Proceedings were broadcast live around the world on Facebook by EWTN TV, who have a base in Walsingham, to thousands of viewers. There were a further 90 people at the National Shrine at Walsingham. A coach-load from Peterborough churches plus Milton Keynes joined the group.
Antonia said: "It was such a joyous moment of prayer knowing that we were part of the great surrounding of our British Isles in the great prayer of the Rosary for Faith, Life and Peace. We consecrated our Isles to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in union with everyone else. The children planted a miraculous medal in the sand and there was such a presence of love for our nations and isles."
Other groups taking part included: Our Lady of the Annunciation in King's Lynn; St Joseph's Church, Sheringham and Our Lady of Refuge, Cromer with groups both at the churches and the beach; St Mary's Church in Great Yarmouthled by Brian Lafferty KSC; at Bacton and Walcott beach in Norfolk led by Ann, Edna, Lucy and Cynth from St Boniface and Our Ladyin Norwich; and ; and at Our Lady and St Peter Church, Aldeburgh, led by Fr Tony Rogers.
Pope Francis has given his apostolic blessing to all who participated in Rosary on the Coast and Cardinal Vincent Nicholsgave his great endorsement, along with many of the bishops of England, Scotland and Wales.
Pictured above are the UEA Catholic Society at Sea Palling.
Click here or see below for a picture gallery of several locations in the Rosary on the Coast. If you have any pictures or words to add from other East Anglian locations please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org