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Parishioner braves blizzards to walk to Walsingham 

A parishioner from St Edmund’s Bungay and Harleston recently made a walking pilgrimage from her home in Suffolk to Walsingham.

The journey, of about 100km, involved battling blizzards as she went, as part of CAFOD’S Big Lent Walk initiative to raise funds for the charity.

Mary Kirk, 75, a veteran long-distance walking pilgrim, says she most definitely chose the wrong week for her pilgrimage as every day except the last was dogged by heavy sleet or snow. She says she could not take photos of what would be a gloriously beautiful route as her phone would have been deluged every time she got it out.

Mary used local rights of way in Suffolk in order to join the Boudicca Way in south Norfolk as far as Norwich. She then picked up the Walsingham Way for a further three days to the shrine. The weather became steadily worse, culminating in a four-hour white-out blizzard on the penultimate day.

Mary says, “Pilgrimage is very definitely a metaphor for life. You take the rough with the smooth. The way-marking, as in life, was patchy – plenty of signage when you don’t need it, but when a path forks – no guidance at all.”

Mary had previously done an epic walk to Rome which we reported here:

She has so far raised £740 for CAFOD and you can sponsor her Big Lent Walk at 

Pictured above is Mary Kirk.