The last day of June is Walking Day in Warrington. Accordingly, yesterday, some of the faithful of St Mary's walked along with the Shrine Rector, Fr Armand De Malleray, FSSP (Flickr album here). They took their 65-year-old banner depicting the Immaculate Conception after a painting by Bartolome Murillo. The venerable banner is so large that it needs two men to carry, plus four people holding the guy ropes to keep it upright against the wind. The origins of this walk of witness through the town go back 180 years (click here for some historical background to Walking Day).
The group joined in the cortege and walked through the town to gather on the Town Hall lawn along with nearly thirty other Warrington churches and Christian groups. Rev Paul Wilson led prayers and a minute of silence for the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester, London and the Grenfell tower disaster. They then paraded past the Mayor, Clr Les Morgan to the sound of many bands, including our neighbours, the Salvation Army, who were kind enough to provide the premises for the reception following the recent priestly ordination of Fr Alex Stewart FSSP and Krzysztof Sanetra FSSP. Our group returned to St Mary's in time for 12:10 Mass. Walking day Steward Tim Wright would like "to thank those who attended and gave their time and effort to carry our venerable banner, give witness and good humour; long may it continue."
News item from St Mary's parish magazine of June 1950: