600th Anniversary Commemorative Pilgrimage from Shrewsbury Abbey to St Winefride’s Well, Holywell
An appeal is being made for volunteers to take part in a pilgrimage walk from Shrewsbury Abbey to St Wnefrides Well in Holywell to re-enact the pilgrimage made by King Henry V in thanksgiving for his victory at the battle of Agincourt the previous year. The Kings army routed a much bigger French army, which was helped greatly by the skill of the English and Welsh bowmen. Henry V had placed himself under the spiritual protection of St Winefride before beginning his campaign.
A shrine to St Winefride has been in place at Holywell since the 7th Century and according to legend, a Well first erupted at the spot where she was restored to life at the prayers of her uncle St Beuno after her head was cut off off by her suitor Prince Caradog with his sword. Winefride lived as a nun until her second death some 22 years later and although she was initially buried in North Wales, her relics were moved to Shrewsbury Abbey in 1138.
This commemorative Pilgrimage is being re-enacted during the period 18 – 25 June 2016 and will begin with an interdenominational service at Shrewsbury Abbey followed by a short walk to Shrewsbury Cathedral on Saturday 18 June. The King and fellow pilgrims will be welcomed to Holywell at an interdenominational service to be held at St Winefride’s Well on 24 June.
On Saturday 25 June, The King will walk from Basingwerk Abbey to St Winefride’s Well to bathe in the waters and then proceed to Holywell High street where a Medieval Festival will take place to celebrate the event.
If you are interested in taking part in the commemorative walk or if you are willing to play the part of Henry who was 28 years old when he carried out this pilgrimage, please contact 07967 513268. Further details of the commemorative event can be found at www.holywellwalkersarewelcome.org and also wrexhamdiocese.org.uk