Downtime at Walsingham

The small Norfolk village of Walsingham is generally considered to be, by most Christians, a place of prayer, worship and pilgrimage. During the National Pilgrimage the faithful flock there in their hundreds. Or at least they do in normal times. All these photographs are pre-2020.

But what happens when they are not praying, worshipping and pilgrimaging? – no one can keep that up all day long.  How do these Christians spend their downtime?

Downtime for many is an opportunity for eating – picnicking of one sort or another. Some of the picnics look rather lavish – indeed there are those who have been known to dress for the occasion.

Even minor cultic officials take a moment or two – to consume their pack-ups in company.

It could well be that for some ­really devout people fasting is the order of the day, and during a break from the main proceedings they will take no food.

Contrary to what many people think some clergy actually have wives and families and downtime at Walsingham for them involves “Father Daddy” responsibilities.

Even members of the clergy who are loathed to remove their ceremonial gear do relax and have downtime too. For some it is an opportunity to tell a secret, have a laugh or even – work on those steps for line dancing!

However downtime at Walsingham is always popular with those who visit.

It’s good to look back and smile about our eccentricities. My thanks to all those who gave their permission for these to be published. You are all lovely people.