Canterbury Pilgrimage letter from the organiser

Source: District of Great Britain

Dear Friends,

Thank you to all those who have registered for the 2023 SSPX Canterbury Pilgrimage, and to those who have contributed towards the expense of its organisation.

The first of all pilgrimages

The first of pilgrimages was Christ’s walk to calvary accompanied by His blessed Mother and a few disciples. Pilgrimages are strongly encouraged by the Catholic Church, as they represent not only our own walk to Calvary on the footsteps of Our Lord accompanied by Our Lady, but also our own Christian life which is and is supposed to be a challenging and bitter walk to everlasting joy. Pilgrimages allow us to leave the world to walk towards God, to recollect, and regain strength to face our every day lives through the graces gained by the various prayers, meditations and mortifications experienced during the walk or the camping. It is essentially a small spiritual retreat.

The Canterbury Pilgrimage

The Canterbury Pilgrimage is one of the oldest pilgrimages in the world. During this pilgrimage, we walk on the path of St Augustine who was sent by St Gregory the Great to convert England. It was on these roads that St Augustine successfully turned England into a great Catholic country, an isle of saints, Our Lady’s Dowry. It is on these roads that we pray and suffer for the delivery of our country from the errors of Protestantism and Atheism, and the return to the Catholic Faith.

This is also a SSPX pilgrimage for the sanctity of the priesthood, and priestly and religious vocations. It is without doubt that the SSPX mission set by its founder, Archbishop Lefebvre is providential, in that the sanctity of the Priesthood is at the centre of its mission. It is through Catholic Priests and Religious that England and the world will convert, that Christ’s Kingship will regain all its rights, because His Kingship is gained through His Eternal Priesthood which is truly manifested by holy priests.

This year's pilgrimage


Furthermore, this year we celebrate the 7th centenary of the canonisation of St Thomas Aquinas, the angelic doctor. His patronage and writings are at the centre of the SSPX mission to transmit the Faith as it was taught before the second Vatican council, as he is recommended as universal and quasi-exclusive source of Catholic doctrine and theology in the seminaries by almost all Popes from Pius V to Pius XII. It is through his teachings that our priests are able to resist in due measure, knowingly and intelligently, the error coming from within the Church, avoiding excesses in one way or the other, thus providing another motif of credibility to the SSPX’s mission. It is the very light of the Faith and the clarity of its teaching that will convert England, which is why we will express a special devotion to St Thomas Aquinas over this year’s Canterbury Pilgrimage.

Family chapter

A family chapter will follow a separate shorter route suitable for prams. Older children (7 year olds +) may want to walk the adult chapter which remains at a reasonable pace and distance. The prayers, lectures and meditations will be adapted to young parents. As with the adult chapter, confessions and spiritual advice will be on offer via the dedicated chaplain.

More pilgrims required

At the time of writing this, 150 pilgrims are pre-registered. Due to the influx of pilgrims in 2022, we’ve had to upgrade all our facilities which has had an impact on the pilgrimage finances, that can only be remedied by the generosity of those who use the “Sponsor a Pilgrim” scheme, but also the registration of many more pilgrims. We could currently support the presence of 500 pilgrims.

Special offer until 11th June

In light of this, a 15% discount is offered until the feast of Corpus Christi (11th June).

Any families still hesitating to come to the pilgrimage, please contact our team at [email protected] with any questions that you may have.

Please pray for the success of this year's Canterbury Pilgrimage.

Peter Bevan

Organisation Team - Lead

SSPX Canterbury Pilgrimage