If last year marked the ‘parting of friends’ then perhaps this year was something of a ‘renewal’ as those who, for the moment, have decided to stay (together with one or two Ordinariate folk) made their way to Walsingham for the Anglican National Pilgrimage. The all important ‘numbers’ held steady and the predicted ‘gaps’ were conspicuous by their absence. The Mass was good, the mood was upbeat, the rain was merciful and Benediction from the site of the original Holy House was very special indeed. As the silver ’950′ balloons headed up into the sky a round of applause followed and the crowds gravitated towards the Bull. Curiously the Protestant protesters seemed to have called it a day already as the procession had stopped short of the Village pump and headed back into the Abbey grounds. For me personally, it all felt special again and left me wondering if maybe, just maybe, the future isn’t quite as bleak as some are making out?