Parish Pilgrimage to St Winefride's well in Holywell - 26/05/2007

On the morning before Pentecost, a small group of parishioners and visitors met at the chapel of St Elisabeth for a Pannikhida, where we offered prayers and hymns for the repose of our departed loved ones, in the hope that God would show His mercy upon them and draw them to Himself.

Afterwards, we set off for the town of Holywell in North Wales where we were joined by more of our parish family and extended family to make pilgrimage to the holy well of St Winefride. At the generous hospitality of the custodian of the well, we shared lunch in the nave of the shrine church, before moving to the shrine shop and display, where we learnt more about the life of St Winefride.

We then moved to the well itself, which spring up on the site of the miraculous restoration to life of St Winefride after her beheading, by God's grace and at the hands of her uncle, St Beuno, at whose faith and intercession her head was restored to her. It was very moving indeed to learn of her faithfulness to God, even in the face of death. At the well, we sang Great Vespers of the Eve of Pentecost, and were sprinkled with water from the well. Some of the faithful drank of the water while others filled buckets and yet others bathed their feet in the pool which is fed by the well and which contains the very stone where St Winefride was beheaded.

The whole afternoon was spent in Christian love as we gathered in one place with one accord, as did the Apostles on the day of Pentecost so many years ago.

Holy Winefride, pray to God for us!
The pilgrims gather
Packing the picnic
Setting off
Pilgrims arrive at Holywell
Pilgrims on their way to the shrine
Pilgrims on their way to the shrine
The shrine church (left) and the Anglican parish church (right)
The sign on the shrine church
The poolside oratory (left) and museum (right)
Matushka Elisabeth at the shrine church entrance
Inside the church, even the littlest came to pay homage to St Winefride
The east window
The east window
O happy band of pilgrims!
Group photo
A statue of St Winefride on the approach to the well
Pilgrims on their way to the well
A pilgrim having a moment at the pool, fed from the well
A pilgrim having a moment at the pool, fed from the well
The Cross in the oratory next to the pool
The statue of Our Lady with the infant Lord in the oratory
The statue of Our Lady with the infant Lord in the oratory
Fr Ian and Fr Paul preparing for Vespers
The holy stone where St Winefride's head came to rest
Preparing for Vespers
Pilgrims drinking water from the well
The well enclosure
The well enclosure
St Winefride's well
The well canopy
The holy well
Satisfied pilgrims returning home