Rosary on the Coast.
Parishioners from St Michael's, Burghclere, Hampshire (John Aron)
Thousands of Catholics prayed the rosary across Britain on Sunday. The event, which is believed to be the biggest Catholic gathering since the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, saw over 400 groups pray at sites along the British coast, and a few abroad.
Crowds varied in size from single families to several hundred people at some locations.
Donna Cooper, who joined the gathering at Exmouth, told the Herald: “If the youth of today are the hope for the Church’s future, the turnout at Exmouth beach for Rosary on the Coast was very encouraging. The priests and people of Exeter parishes were joined by an enthusiastic group of Confirmation candidates who are due to receive the Sacrament next weekend.”
“We certainly made an impression on the slightly perplexed Sunday afternoon dog walkers, particularly when we concluded our time of prayer with a heartfelt rendition of Faith of our Fathers,” she added.
Fr Ross Crichton, who led the group on the Isle of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides, described the day as “glorious”. The group, he said, prayed in both English and Gaelic, after which the children buried a Miraculous Medal in the sand.
Meanwhile, Fr Tom Grufferty led a group in Gosport, Hampshire. “As soon as we began the ancient prayer of the rosary there was a real spirit of a community with everybody raising their minds and hearts to God in Prayer,” he said.
“I personally was able to see the glorious mysteries with new meaning as we looked across the Solent towards the Isle of Wright. Even though the weather was cloudy with a very cold breeze we identified easily with all the other people gathered around the coast of Great Britain.”
Clare Short, who joined a group at Portsmouth, said: “Praying on the beach today, united with 30k other Catholics across the British Isles, I felt that we were beginning to regain a sense of spiritual national identity.”
The Catholic Herald has even received word of a gathering in the province of Tarragona, in Catalonia, Spain. The Rev. Deacon Bernard Farrell-Roberts said that he, his wife and a Scottish priest prayed for Britain from the Mediterranean coast.
Below is a selection of photographs sent in by Catholic Herald readers.