Pilgrims arriving at St Peter & St Paul Church
Student Cross is the annual ecumenical, cross carrying, walking pilgrimage to Walsingham that takes place
over Holy Week and Easter
Student Cross is the annual ecumenical, cross carrying, walking pilgrimage to Walsingham that takes place over Holy Week and Easter. It is the longest continuous walking pilgrimage in Britain, and is walked by students, graduates and their families. The pilgrimage was founded in 1948 by a University of London student, Wilfred Mauncote-Carter, who led a group of students including many ex-servicemen, on a walk from London to Walsingham, taking it in turns to carry the Cross. The pilgrimage has grown over the years and currently consists of ten different 'legs' that start from different areas of the country and at different stages of the week leading up to the celebration of the Easter Triduum. The Pilgrimage has been officially ecumenical since 1972 although it still retains a Catholic flavour.
The students walking the London Leg, 130 miles, from Epping to Walsingham, start on the Saturday before Palm Sunday and arrive at Walsingham on the evening of Good Friday. On Maundy Thursday their journey takes them from Methwold to Castle Acre, traditionally stopping at St Peter and St Paul Swaffham where the Mother’s Union provide afternoon tea.