Special pilgrimage to remember special saint in Bawburgh

Outdoor service at Bawburgh to mark the death of St Walstan. St Mary and St Walstan church, Bawburgh

Outdoor service at Bawburgh to mark the death of St Walstan. St Mary and St Walstan church, Bawburgh.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

It was an anniversary celebration that had been 1,000 years in the making.

Outdoor service at Bawburgh to mark the death of St Walstan. The Bishop of East Anglia, The Rt Revd

Outdoor service at Bawburgh to mark the death of St Walstan. The Bishop of East Anglia, The Rt Revd Alan Hopes.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Around 100 people gathered in Bawburgh, near Norwich, yesterday to mark the death of Saint Walstan.

It is believed the patron saint of agriculture was buried in the village following his death in 1016.

A three-day flower festival and pilgrimage was held at the St Mary and St Walstan Chuch to commemorate his life over the weekend.

It was followed by a service led by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James and the Roman Catholic Bishop of East Anglia, the Rt Rev Alan Hopes.

Outdoor service at Bawburgh to mark the death of St Walstan. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Outdoor service at Bawburgh to mark the death of St Walstan. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant


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Betty Martins, editor of the village news website, said: 'In the story St Walstan was helping people and animals, which is why we have perpetuated his story.

'Because of his humility and generosity, he is an image we would all like to be.'

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The main event yesterday saw people take part in a three-mile pilgrimage from Marlingford Village Hall to the church. Following the afternoon service, a procession was then led down past St Walstan's Well.

Bishop Hopes said: 'One thousand years after his death, there is very little we can say with certainty about the life of Saint Walstan.

'We know he lived and worked in this vicinity and the reasons why he was acclaimed as a saint. But another story has it that he might have been born in Blythburgh in Suffolk. If true, that would make him the only canonised tractor boy in the world.'

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