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Retreats & Pilgrimage


Students experience a retreat during each year of their time at St Mary’s.

Students in Year 7 & 8 enjoy a day of sessions created and delivered by our Chaplain and 6th Formers. Activities include games, team-building exercises and small group discussions on the theme of the retreat, giving the students a moment to reflect on their journey and faith.

In Year 9, students have the opportunity to visit a retreat site for a day lead by the ministry team at the venue. This is followed in Years 10-13 by a residential retreat for a minimum of 1 night stay. The venues we have used in the past are spread over many dioceses:


Our students in Year 9 have an opportunity to go on pilgrimage to The Basilica of Our Lady of Walsingham, the only Basilica in the country. This is the country’s national shrine to our blessed Mother Mary. During the day, we have the opportunity to deepen our understanding of pilgrimage, prayer, Our Lady of Walsingham’s story and our lady’s love for us. We celebrate Mass as a community in the Shrine Chapel, visit the Anglican shrine, and have an opportunity to wander around the shops in Little Walsingham.

To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art or history. To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendour and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe.

- Pope Benedict XVI