British Pilgrims entering the Cathedral at Chartres

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Cardinal Sarah at Chartres!

Allow me first of all to warmly thank His Excellency Bishop Philippe Christory, Bishop of Chartres, for his fraternal welcome to this wonderful Cathedral.

Dear Chartres pilgrims,

“The light has come into the world,” Jesus tells us today in the Gospel (John 3, 16-21), “and men have preferred darkness.”

And you, dear pilgrims, have you welcomed the only light that does not deceive: that of God? You walked for three days, prayed, sang, suffered under the sun and in the rain: did you welcome the light in your hearts? Have you really given up darkness? Have you chosen to pursue the Way by following Jesus, who is the Light of the world? Dear friends, allow me to ask you this radical question, because if God is not our light, all the rest becomes useless. Without God all is darkness!

God came to us, he became man. He has revealed to us the only truth that saves, he died to redeem us from sin, and at Pentecost he gave us the Holy Spirit, he gave us the light of faith ... but we prefer darkness!

Let’s look around us! Western society has chosen to establish itself without God. Witness how it is now delivered to the flashy and deceptive lights of a consumer society: to profit at all costs, and frenzied individualism.

A world without God is a world of darkness, of lies and of selfishness!

Without the light of God, Western society has become like a drunken boat in the night! She does not have enough love to take in children, to protect them beginning from their mother’s womb, to protect them from the aggression of pornography.

Deprived of the light of God, Western society no longer knows how to respect its elderly, accompany unto death its sick, make room for the poorest and the weakest.

Society is abandoned to the darkness of fear, sadness and isolation. She has nothing to offer but emptiness and nothingness. It allows the proliferation of the maddest ideologies.

A Western society without God can become the cradle of an ethical and moral terrorism more virulent and more destructive than Islamist terrorism. Remember that Jesus told us, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10, 28).

Dear friends, forgive me this portrayal. But one must be clear and realistic.

If I speak to you in this way, it is because, in my priestly, pastoral heart, I feel compassion for so many wayward souls, lost, sad, worried and lonely! Who will lead them to the light? Who will show them the way to the truth, the only true path of freedom which is that of the Cross? Are we going to leave them to be delivered to error, to hopeless nihilism, or to aggressive Islamism?

We must proclaim to the world that our hope has a name: Jesus Christ, the only Savior of the world and of humanity! We can no longer be silent!
Dear Pilgrims of France, look upon this cathedral! Your ancestors built it to proclaim their faith! Everything, in its architecture, its sculpture, its windows, proclaims the joy of being saved and loved by God. Your ancestors were not perfect, they were not without sins. But they wanted to let the light of faith illuminate their darkness!

Today, you too, People of France, wake up! Choose the light! Renounce the darkness!

How can this be done? The Gospel tells us: “He who acts according to the truth comes to the light.” Let the light of the Holy Spirit illuminate our lives concretely, simply, and even in the most intimate parts of our deepest being. To act according to the truth is first to put God at the center of our lives, as the Cross is the center of this cathedral.

My brothers, choose to turn to Him every day! At this moment, make the commitment to keep a few minutes of silence every day in order to turn to God, to tell him “Lord reign in me! I give you all my life!”

Dear pilgrims, without silence, there is no light. Darkness feeds on the incessant noise of this world, which prevents us from turning to God.

Take the example of the liturgy of the Mass today. It brings us to adoration, filial fear and love in the presence of God’s greatness. It culminates in the Consecration where together, facing the altar, our gaze directed to the host, to the cross, we commune in silence in recollection and in adoration.

Dear friends, let us love these liturgies that enable us to taste the silent and transcendent presence of God, and turn us towards the Lord.

Dear brother priests, I want to address you specifically. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the place where you will find the light for your ministry. The world we live in is constantly petitioning us. We are constantly in motion, without taking care to stop and take the time to go to a deserted place to rest a little, in solitude and silence, in the company of the Lord. There is the danger that we regard ourselves as “social workers”. Then, we would not bring the Light of God to the world, but our own light, which is not that which men expect from us. What the world expects of the priest is God and the Light of his Word proclaimed without ambiguity or falsification.

Let us know how to turn to God in a liturgical celebration, full of respect, silence and sacredness. Do not invent anything in the liturgy. Let us receive everything from God and from the Church. Do not look for show or success. The liturgy teaches us: To be a priest is not above all to do many things. It is to be with the Lord, on the Cross! The liturgy is the place where man meets God face to face. The liturgy is the most sublime moment when God teaches us to “ to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren” (Rom. 8, 29). Liturgy is not and should not be an occasion for grief, struggle or strife. In the ordinary form, just as in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, the essential thing is to turn to the Cross, to Christ, our East, our Everything and our only Horizon! Whether in the ordinary form or the extraordinary form, let us always celebrate, as on this day, according to what the Second Vatican Council teaches: with a noble simplicity, without useless additions, without factitious and theatrical aesthetic, but with the sense of the sacred, with the primary concern for the Glory of God, and with a true spirit of a son of the Church of today and of always!

Dear fellow priests, always keep this certainty: to be with Christ on the Cross is what priestly celibacy proclaims to the world! The plan, again advanced by some, to detach celibacy from the priesthood by conferring the sacrament of the Order on married men (“viri probati”) for, they say, “pastoral reasons or necessities”, would have serious consequences, in fact, to definitively break with the Apostolic Tradition. We would to manufacture a priesthood according to our human dimension, but without perpetuating, without extending the priesthood of Christ, obedient, poor and chaste. Indeed, the priest is not only an “alter Christus”, but he is truly “ipse Christus”, he is Christ himself! And that is why, following Christ and the Church, the priest will always be a sign of contradiction!

To you, dear Christians, lay people engaged in the life of the City, I want to say with force: “do not be afraid! Do not be afraid to bring the light of Christ to this world!

Your first witness must be your own example: act according to the Truth! In your family, in your profession, in your social, economic, political relations, may Christ be your Light! Do not be afraid to testify that your joy comes from Christ!

Please, do not hide the source of your hope! On the contrary, proclaim it! Testify to it! Evangelize! The Church needs you! Remind all that only “the crucified Christ reveals the true meaning of freedom! “ (Veritatis Splendor 85) with Christ, set free liberty that is today chained by false human rights, all oriented towards the self-destruction of man.

To you, dear parents, I want to send a special message. Being a father and mother in today’s world is an adventure full of suffering, obstacles and worries. The Church says to you: “Thank you”! Yes, thank you for the generous gift of yourselves! Have the courage to raise your children in the light of Christ. You will sometimes have to fight against the prevailing wind and endure the mockery and contempt of the world. But we are not here to please the world! “We proclaim a crucified Christ, scandal for the Jews and folly for the Gentiles” (1 Cor. 1, 23-24) Do not be afraid! Do not give up! The Church, through the voice of the Popes - especially since the encyclical Humanae Vitae - entrusts to you a prophetic mission: to testify before all of our joyful trust in God, who has made us intelligent guardians of the natural order. You announce what Jesus has revealed to us through his very life: “Freedom is accomplished in love, that is to say, the gift of oneself.” (Veritatis Splendor 87)

Dear Fathers and Mothers, the Church loves you! Love the Church! She is your Mother. Do not join those who laugh at her, because they only see the wrinkles of her face aged by centuries of suffering and hardship. Even today, she is beautiful and radiates holiness.

Finally, I want to address you, you the younger people who are numerous here!

However, I beg you first to listen to an “elder” who has more authority than me. This is the Evangelist St. John. Beyond the example of his life, St. John also left a written message to young people. In his First Letter, we read these moving words of an elder to the young people of the churches he had founded. Listen to his voice full of vigor, wisdom and warmth: “ I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world or the things in the world”(1 John 2, 14-15).

The world we must not love, as Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa commented in his homily on Good Friday 2018, to which we do not have to comply, is not, as we all know, the world created and loved by God, it is not the people of the world to whom, on the contrary, we must always go to, especially the poor and the poor of the poor, to love them and serve them humbly ... No! The world not to love is another world; it is the world as it became under the rule of Satan and sin. The world of ideologies that deny human nature and destroy the family ... structures from the UN, which impose a new global ethic, play a decisive role and have today become an overwhelming power, spreading through the airwaves through the unlimited possibilities of technology. In many Western countries, it is a crime today to refuse to submit to these horrible ideologies. This is what we call adaptation to the spirit of the times, conformism. A great British believer and poet of the last century, T.S. Eliot wrote a few verses that say more than whole books: “In a world of fugitives, the person taking the opposite direction will appear to run away”.

Dear young Christians, if it is permissible for an “elder,” as St. John, to speak directly to you, I also exhort you, and I say to you, you have overcome the Evil One! Fight any law against nature that would be imposed upon on you, oppose any law against life, against the family. Be of those who take the opposite direction! Dare to go against the grain! For us, Christians, the opposite direction is not a place, it is a Person, it is Jesus Christ, our Friend and our Redeemer. A task is especially entrusted to you: to save human love from the tragic drift into which it has fallen: love, which is no longer the gift of oneself, but only the possession of the other - a possession often violently tyrannical. On the Cross, God revealed himself as “agape”, that is to say as a love that is given to death. To really love is to die for the other. Like the young gendarme, Colonel Arnaud Beltrame!

Dear young people, you often, without doubt, suffer in your soul the struggle of darkness and light. You are sometimes seduced by the easy pleasures of the world. With all my heart of a priest, I say to you: do not hesitate! Jesus will give you everything! By following him to be Saints, you will not lose anything! You will win the only joy that never disappoints!

Dear young people, if today Christ calls you to follow him as a priest, as a religious, do not hesitate! Say to him: “fiat”, an enthusiastic and unconditional yes!

God wants you to have need of you, what grace! What a joy! The West has been evangelized by the Saints and the Martyrs. You, young people of today, will be the saints and the martyrs that the nations are waiting for in a New Evangelization! Your homelands are thirsty for Christ! Do not disappoint them! The Church trusts you!

I pray that many of you will answer today, during this Mass, the call of God to follow him, to leave everything for him, for his light. Dear young people, do not be afraid. God is the only friend who will never disappoint you! When God calls, he is radical. It means He goes all the way to the root. Dear friends, we are not called to be mediocre Christians! No, God calls us all to the total gift, to the martyrdom of the body or the heart!

Dear people of France, it is the monasteries that made the civilization of your country! It is men and women who have accepted to follow Jesus to the end, radically, who have built Christian Europe. Because they have sought God alone, they have built a beautiful and peaceful civilization, like this cathedral.

People of France, peoples of the West, you will find peace and joy only by seeking God alone! Return to the Source! Return to the monasteries! Yes, all of you, dare to spend a few days in a monastery! In this world of tumult, ugliness and sadness, monasteries are oases of beauty and joy. You will experience that it is possible to put concretely God in the center of his whole life. You will experience the only joy that will not pass.

Dear pilgrims, let us give up the darkness. Let’s choose the light! Let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to know how to say “fiat”, that is, yes, fully, like her, to know how to welcome the light of the Holy Spirit like she did. On this day when, thanks to the solicitude of the Holy Father Pope Francis, we celebrate Mary, Mother of the Church, let us ask this Most Holy Mother to have a heart like hers, a heart that refuses nothing to God, a heart burning with love for the glory of God, a heart ardent to announce to men the Good News, a generous heart, a heart as profuse as the heart of Mary, as abundant as that of the Church, and as rich as that of the Heart of Jesus ! So be it!

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Chartres 2018!

Bonjour, Pilgrims!

Yes, it is that time of year again when the siren bells of Chartres Cathedral begin their slow but relentless peal of welcome.  Will you answer that call?

We are now accepting registrations for the 25th British Pilgrimage which leaves London on Friday, 18 May 2018 at 7:30 am.  Cost, at £275.00 (£140.00 for children under 12), is the same as last year and the Itinerary (as far as we know at this early stage) is virtually identical to last year.

Registration deadline (when payment in full is due) is Palm Sunday, 25 March 2018.

We understand that it will not be possible this year to register on the spot in Paris as this has put too much of a strain on the French organisers.  So, you must register in advance!

2017 was a fantastic Pilgrimage and a reminder can be accessed here. (put together by our Danish friend, Frederick Winslow).

We look forward to welcoming you in May!    

Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Pilgrimage is Over! Now the Work Begins!

British Pilgrims at the  Shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar

Dear pilgrims,

Two thousand seventeen (2017) is an exceptional year. First of all we have the great joy and honour of being gratified by the presence of his Eminence, Cardinal Burke. Secondly, this year we can thank Our Lord for numerous anniversaries. The first one being of course the first century of the apparitions of Fatima, the second being the tenth anniversary of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, and last but not least, 2017 is the thirty-fifth anniversary of our pilgrimage. 
The apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima have a particular link with our pilgrimage. At Fatima the Virgin asked all of human kind to pray and to do penance for the conversion of Russia. She condemned communism while warning us about the misfortunes to come of the twentieth century. In nineteen-eighty-three, during the launch of the first Chartres Pilgrimage under the pontificate of John-Paul II, our founders wanted for us to be an echo to the famous polish pilgrimage of Częstochowa and therefore amplify the catholic resistance to communism. 
Our choice for the Traditional Liturgy, as one of the founding acts of this pilgrimage, was not done for a certain liturgical beauty or a sense of nostalgia or for conservatism but for faith. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, published by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, 10 years ago, wanted to pacify the Church with herself. We are therefore, forever grateful to Pope Benedict XVI who acted courageously and published this document which is in itself an act of faith, charity and justice. Today, 10 years have gone by since the Motu Proprio, and the Chartres Pilgrimage has become a providential event for generations of pilgrims because of the holiness of this liturgy, this extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, “the first act of the new evangelisation” to quote his Eminence Cardinal Burke. 
One last anniversary, in 1997, 20 years ago, His Holiness John-Paul II was here in France, on the grave of his beloved friend, Professor Lejeune, “We are, said the Pope, in front of a great Christian of the twentieth century,…a man for whom the fight for life became an apostolate.” Jérôme Lejeune is a modern example of this fight for christianity and Catholic teaching. Our priority today is the fight for the importance of life against abortion and euthanasia, for family against the fake “same sex marriage”, and against the gender theory. For 35 years, pilgrims from Chartres have been in the heart of this fight for christianity, vocation of our pilgrimage. 
Lastly, a few words on Notre Dame de Chrétienté : The growing numbers and new regulations make the pilgrimage harder to organise every year. Next Year, God willing, we will have to change and improve our organisation, find solutions to keep and develop the Chartres Pilgrimage which we love because of its traditions and its spirituality. We will give you more details and ask for your help very soon. Be sure to follow us on our website. 
Have a safe journey back. Come back next year in 2018. The theme will be “Saint Joseph, pilgrim and servant.”

Notre Dame de la Sainte Espérance, convertissez nous ! 

Jean de Tauriers,
Président de Notre Dame de Chrétienté

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Consecrate Yourself to Our Lady!

Every year, on the evening of Pentecost Sunday, the pilgrims of Chartres consecrate themselves (or renew their consecration) to the Blessed Virgin Mary in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the middle of the campsite at Gas. 

This act of consecration is very important on a personal level. It is all the more fruitful for the one who makes it if his dispositions are better. 

In this year of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima, the association Notre-Dame de Chrétienté has decided to offer you a totally new "preparation of the 33 days". This preparation will allow us to know more about the apparitions (each day we will have a small history) and the extraordinary means that the Mother of God has come to give us: devotion to her Immaculate Heart. 

This devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is made concrete by the devotion of the "5 first Saturdays of the month" which will be explained throughout this preparation of the 33 days. Indeed, on Saturday, June 3rd, the first day of our pilgrimage will be a "first Saturday of the month." If you wish to make this devotion of the first 5 Saturdays in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Providence has provided that between the first Saturday in June and the first Saturday in October (the anniversary month of the end of Apparitions), there are precisely 5 Saturdays. What an opportunity not to be missed during these months, and to prolong our pilgrimage, united by prayer with all the other pilgrims!

This preparation for the Consecration is an excellent means to make our pilgrimage fertile and to give it the best spiritual climate for the good of all our souls. It is also a beautiful way to thank the Blessed Virgin for all the graces she never ceases to obtain for us with her Son. 

During the 33 days before the pilgrimage, from Monday 1st May to Friday 2nd June, you will have the possibility to receive by e-mail the texts of the preparation. They will allow you to support your daily meditation and prayer. Registration for Marian Consecration.  (NB. The information from Notre Dame de Chrétienté will be in French, but you can also use information from the website "fish eaters" to make your Consecration).   

PRAYER OF POPE PIUS XII This prayer, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, was composed by the Pope for the Marian Year (December 8, 1953-December 8, 1954), which was proclaimed to mark the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. 

Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, 0 Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side. 

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe. 

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! 0 Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell! 

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace. 

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars: You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people! Amen.


Sunday, 5 February 2017

Chartres 2017

Organisation for the 35th Pilgrimage of Notre Dame de Chretiente (the 24th undertaken by British Chapters) is well underway.  Registration Form is located here.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Impressive Video from The Remnant

featuring our very own, Jamie Bogle!

Chartres 2016!

Welcome to the 34th Chartres Pilgrimage (2016)! Briefly, we walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, to Notre-Dame Cathedral, Chartres, involving 70 miles in three days. This involves long hours of walking, early morning starts, arriving at the campsite late in the evenings and requires a reasonable level of fitness.
The British Pilgrimage starts on Friday 13 May 2016 with the Holy Mass in Westminster Cathedral Crypt at 7.00am and the coach leaves for Calais at 7.30am. Each day on the Pilgrimage the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be celebrated and we will also meditate on the Holy Rosary.  Also, confession and spiritual guidance will be available throughout the day. On Tuesday 17 May 2016, there is Mass in the Crypt of Chartres Cathedral before the coach takes us back to England via the Eurotunnel arriving at Westminster Cathedral at 8.00pm.
   What is the Chartres Pilgrimage ?
Chartres is at the centre of the religious history of France. Since Roman times, when the "Virgo Paritura" was venerated here, to the present day, the shrine has not ceased to attract pilgrims from the most distinguished (all the kings of France) to the most humble.
The Chartres pilgrimage is a very old tradition in France, and has been given new vigour by the association Notre-Dame de Chrétienté‚ which has organised it for over 30 years. The president of the Association is Jean de Tauriers and the new Chaplain is Abbé Alexis Garnier.
The pilgrimage is a walk of prayer and penance, and has both an individual and a social character. Encouraged by Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and numerous bishops, over 8,000 pilgrims take part, with about 750 coming from 20 foreign countries. All are united in prayer to Our Lady during a three-day walk of 70 miles, making this the largest pilgrimage of its kind in Western Europe, both in the distance covered and in the number of pilgrims. Each day, Mass is celebrated in the most beautiful way, according to the Roman Missal of Pope John XXIII. The liturgy is the traditional Latin one: magnificent instrument of prayer, stressing the universal character of the Mass.
The spirit of the Pentecost Pilgrimage
The pilgrimage is organised in a dynamic spirit, as a reaction to the materialism of our times. We place ourselves within the traditional doctrine taught by the Church. Wishing to work for the Social Reign of Our Lord, we want our Faith to overflow into our personal lives, our family lives, our working lives, and into the very life of our country. Following Huysmans, Psichari, Peguy and other illustrious converts, the Chartres pilgrims walk for Christendom, "that sunny side of a civilisation where the Kingship of Christ spreads over the lives and works of men, over the families and over the nations, searching obstinately amidst the cultures and earthly battles, for an uncompromising balance between nature and grace, wishing, by heroism and holiness, to trace already on earth the avenues of the Kingdom."
A call to conversion, a public act of reparation to the Sacred Heart, this pilgrimage is a homage to Christ the King and to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The pilgrims walk in ‘chapters’. The Chapter of Our Lady of Walsingham (all ages) is led by Francis Carey and Jamie Bogle. The Chaplains, Fr Edwards and Fr Byrne, will accompany us all along the walk, hearing confessions, providing meditations, prayers and teaching the Catholic Faith. Our Juventutem (Youth) Chapter is under the patronage of Saint Alban. This is led by Andrew Plasom-Scott and the Juventutem Chaplains are Frs. Withoos and Redman.

THEME FOR THE YEAR 2016 :"Come, Holy Ghost!"
This is the final theme on the three year programme dealing with the mystery of the Holy Trinity.  Therefore, after our themes meditating on God the Father and on Jesus Christ, we now meditate upon the third Person of the Holy Trinity.  As the Pilgrimage is always at Pentecost, this is a very fitting theme indeed.  For the Saturday, our Patroness is St Catherine of Siena and our subtheme is “The Holy Ghost, Spirit of Holiness”; for Pentecost Sunday, our Patron is St Pius X and our subtheme is “The Holy Ghost and His gifts for the Church”; and on Pentecost Monday, under the Patronage of the Martyrs for the Holy Name of Jesus, we meditate on “The Holy Ghost, Soul of the Mission”.
It is highly recommended that pilgrims consecrate (or reconsecrate) themselves totally to Our Lady after the manner of St Louis de Montfort at the campsite at Gas before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on Pentecost.   The preparation for this takes 33 days and, therefore, you should start this on 11 April 2016 (to finish on the day we leave England for the Pilgrimage).  Previous pilgrims wishing to renew their Consecration should start on 23 April 2016, the Feast of St. George.  Further details can be found on the Website.
Food during the pilgrimage
Notre-Dame de Chrétienté supplies bread and water at lunch throughout the walk and at the evening campsite.  At the campsite, hot soup is available in the evenings and a very basic breakfast (coffee, hot chocolate and bread and jam) is available in the mornings.  Pilgrims should, however, bring with them their own food, enough for three cold picnic lunches and to supplement the evening soup and morning breakfast.  These should be organised in England as there are very limited opportunities to buy anything during the pilgrimage.
Assistance during the walk
Permanent medical assistance is assured by the doctors and hospitallers of the Order of Malta, who have an outdoor hospital at each campsite.
At each halt, shuttle buses provide transport for pilgrims who can no longer walk or, in case of emergency, to take them to hospital.
  Les Pieds (Feet!)
During the pilgrimage it is important to look after one's feet as walking with blisters is not a lot of fun.  Along with the usual precautions of wearing good walking boots (well worn-in) and wool or cotton socks (not synthetic), experienced walkers have found that the application of "Elastoplaste", a very sticky medical tape available in French chemists (there is one near our Paris hotel), to the sole and heel of the foot results in no blisters!  It costs about £5 for a box, but is well worth the investment.  A foot/hand cream is also recommended.  While the  services of the Order of Malta are always available en-route and at the campsites, they are no longer there to treat blisters and other minor injuries.

   Pilgrim's equipment
Clothing for walking, particularly boots or good walking shoes (synthetic fibre socks are not advised). Here is the list of essentials:
a small backpack to carry throughout, containing :
·     Food: lunch for the day and energy-giving snacks (dried fruit, salty nuts, etc.).  Tins of     tuna salad, cheese, salami, glucose tablets etc.
·     Waterproof raingear (heavy rain possible!)
·     pullover
·     water bottle (water supplied) and knife/fork/spoon
·     cup for tea/coffee/soup (contents supplied, bring tea bags if tea required)
·     hat, to protect against the sun (and sun cream)
·     Pilgrim’s Booklet (supplied, containing all the Mass texts, hymns, and other prayers)
·     Small plastic bag/cover for Pilgrim’s Booklet
·     plasters and general simple medication (for blisters, headaches, dehydration etc.)
·     rosary
a larger bag, which will be taken in the special pilgrimage lorries and which is retrieved each evening, containing :
·     food reserves (for remaining meals)
·     torch
·     warm jumper/garment (cold early mornings)
·     change of clothing (a pullover, shirts, trousers, pants, vests, socks)
·     light shoes for the evening (good boots recommended for the walk)
·     toiletries and toilet paper (not essential)
·     night-clothes
·     warm sleeping bag
·     personal tent (if you have one) or Groundsheet and mat (for collective tents)

(When packing your luggage, make sure that that you line it with a plastic bag.  Luggage is left in the open at the campsite and, if it rains, clothes may get wet.  Especially, make sure that your sleeping bag is in a waterproof bag.)


 Itinerary (subject to alteration)

Friday, 13 May 2016
07:00                        Mass in Westminster Cathedral Crypt (Ambrosden Avenue)
07:30                        Coaches pick up outside Cathedral
11:10                        Coach boards ferry at Dover
18:00                        Coach arrives at Hotel near Paris

Saturday, 14 May 2016 (Vigil of Pentecost)
05:00                        Breakfast
05:30                        Coach to Notre Dame Cathedral
07:00                        Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
08:30(est.)               Leave Notre Dame towards Chartres
13:30                        Lunch at Bièvres (les Damoiseaux)
20:00                        Arrive at Ferté-Choisel for dinner and bed (“Veillée amicale” at 21:00)

Sunday, 15 May 2016 (Pentecost Sunday)
06:15                     Prayers of Departure
07:00                     First Chapters leave Campsite
13:00                   Solemn Mass of Pentecost & Lunch at Sonchamps (les Courlis)
20:00                     Arrive at Gas Campsite
21:00                   Benediction, Consecration to Our Lady and All Night Exposition          

Monday, 16 May 2016 (Pentecost Monday)
06:30                        Load Luggage onto London Coach or Lorry at Campsite at Gas
07:00                        Leave Gas for Chartres
10:30                        Lunch at Gasville-Oisème
15:30                        Solemn Mass in Chartres Cathedral
20:00                        Dinner in Chartres
????                         Bed!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 (Pentecost Tuesday)

08:30ish               Breakfast
10:00                       Mass in Chartres Cathedral Crypt—Notre Dame de Sous Terre
12:00                       Depart Chartres by coach for London
18:20                       Board Eurotunnel (not Eurostar!)
20:00                       Arrive London Victoria Railway Station

Important Requirements of Pilgrims to Chartres 
1.     Live the spirituality of the pilgrimage in your chapter
2.     Welcome and support new and lone pilgrims
3.     March to the end of each stage, unless unable to do so for serious reasons
4.     Adopt appropriate dress and behaviour, in conformity with the pilgrim spirit: immodest clothing is prohibited, especially dresses which are too short, cropped tops, paramilitary paraphernalia.  The use of drugs is strictly forbidden.  Alcohol and tobacco use should be discrete and moderate.  Young people will be particularly supervised in this regard.
5.     Respect silence when it is requested.  Mobile phones and electronic devised are not to be used while walking, except in an emergency.
6.     Avoid wasting any food or drink,  and help to maintain cleanliness; it is a basic responsibility not to drop litter of any sort
7.     Help the logistics teams when asked, and respect their instructions (in particular, pitching tents in the appropriate marked spaces).

The organisers reserve the right to exclude from the pilgrimage any person who does not respect these instructions or who refuses to followthem.

Registration Information
The  Registration Form should be completed and returned with a deposit of £50 per person to reserve your place.   Payment in full by 25 March 2016, please.