Christian Practices: Pilgrimage 1

What is the importance of pilgrimage?

Pilgrimage is a journey with a sacred or special meaning, it is usually an act of religious devotion. Anyone can undergo a pilgrimage. For this course you need to investigate and understand the importance of pilgrimage and be able to describe and explain two Christian sites of pilgrimage: Walsingham and Taizé.

Recap Questions

What does Eucharist commemorate?

The Last Supper

What are the two types of baptism?

Infant and Believers

Finish the following definition of a sacrament: ‘a visible sign of…

…an invisible grace’.

What are the names of three natures of God?

Omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent

What do some Christians believe water is washing away during an infant baptism?

Original sin

  • To understand the meaning of pilgrimage
  • To describe the pilgrimage site of Walsingham
  • To explain Walsingham’s importance to Christians
  • Method to record learning – word document or pen and paper
  • Keep a log of work and send a copy to your teacher via e-mail if possible, if not hold on to until you see your teacher in person. (It should take 30-60 mins).


Task 1
There are many reasons an individual might travel on a pilgrimage. Have a go at listing what they might be?

  • To show devotion – love for God
  • To emulate the journey of religious figures
  • To visit sites of historical importance
  • To have time to reflect
  • To follow the expectation of the faith
  • Plus many more…
Walsingham Abbey, Norfolk, England

Task 2
Read and make notes on the pilgrimage site: Walsingham.

Pilgrims have been visiting Walsingham in Norfolk for many centuries. It is a site of pilgrimage as it is the site of a vision about Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Many Christians believe that Richeldis de Faverches, a Saxon noblewoman, lived here and had a vision in 1061. In the vision she was asked by Mary to build an exact copy of the house Mary lived in, in Nazereth (where Gabriel visited Mary with the news of her pregnancy with Jesus). This is why Walsingham is often called the Nazareth of England.

Some Roman Catholics walk the last mile barefoot from the Slipper Chapel to the Holy House as an act of penance (punishment inflicted on oneself as an outward expression of saying sorry for a wrongdoing). There are daily services where pilgrims pray together, especially saying the rosary, celebrating mass and receiving blessings.
Every year, on spring bank holiday, there is a national pilgrimage. Pilgrims process from the ruined priory through to the shrine. They also take part in a daily service called the Sprinkling of the Well as they believe that the water of the church well has qualities that can bring individual blessings.
(Source: BBC Bitesize)

Below is a video from the national pilgrimage (2019)

Task 3

Why is it important?

Walsingham is a local pilgrimage and is important as many cannot afford or are not able to make the journey to Jerusalem, Bethlehem or Nazareth.
Christians of all denominations can come together to worship in this place, eg Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians and some Anglican Christians. This helps Christians feel united in their beliefs.
Christians come to Walsingham to remember the vision of Mary given to Richeldis. Pilgrims feel that worshipping in this place of spiritual importance can help them to develop spiritually.
Praying in the shrine and going to the daily Sprinkling of the Well service means that pilgrims can hope that they too will be blessed and, perhaps, healed from an illness.
(Source: BBC Bitesize)

Using the link below to the textbook pages 205-6 to review.


Walsingham is an english site of pilgrimage. The site represents the Nazareth home of the Virgin Mary where she encountered the angel Gabriel. There are many different reasons for pilgrimage and to visit this particular site. It is seen as a site of unification for all denominations and provides a local pilgrimage for those of Christian faith.

Extras: Test yourself – use the following exam board supported website – Seneca, to assess your understanding on this topic.

Exam Question

Describe a Christian pilgrimage. 5 marks (B type question)
REMEMBER: One possible exam technique – list of five
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding by describing a belief, teaching, practice, event etc.​
​Five distinct ideas put into a paragraph.

Extra help: