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History of the Glastonbury Pilgrimage

Two letters to the press were typical of the period. One complained that it was a waste of time and that the money would have been "more profitably spent through the medium of the political platforms to secure for posterity better conditions for humanity" ... the other from a Glastonbury Roman Catholic parishioner resented constant references to themselves as "the Italian Mission".

For 1927, perhaps because a request to hold the Eucharist in the Abbey Church had been refused the year before, W.E.P.A. decided that Winchester should be the venue. So a Eucharist was sung in the Cathedral at 11am. Later a procession left the Guildhall at 3pm for Evensong in the Cathedral at which Bishop Talbot, the recently retired Bishop of

Winchester, preached. Numbers were obviously well down, under 1000; so in 1928 the Pilgrimage switched back to Glastonbury. For book and badge the charge was 2/- and a tea ticket cost 1/6d. By now the Committee comprised 8 clergy and 22 laity.

In 1930 the Earl Halifax became President and it was decided to take the pilgrimage to Cleeve Abbey. No reasons are recorded for the switch back to Glastonbury in 1931 so one must assume that the attendance was again poor. The Pilgrimage has been to Glastonbury ever since, save for its suspension during the Second World War.

In 1931 the Abbot of Nashdom celebrated at the 8am Eucharist in St Patrick's chapel, the first time an Abbot can have celebrated in the Abbey grounds since the Dissolution.

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