THE Tyburn Walk, organised by the Guild of Ransom, which has taken place on the last Sunday of April each year since it was started by Fr. Philip Fletcher in 1911, will be led this year by the Right Reverend Joseph J Cleary, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham.
This silent Walk from the Old Bailey site of Newgate Prison, to Tyburn, near the spot where the Tyburn Gallows stood, honours the memory of over a hundred martyrs, 19 of them canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970. This follows in the steps of the martyrs who were dragged from their prison to the place of execution, bound to hurdles, witnesses to the faith for which they suffered and died.
We need the inspiration of love such as this today. This silent pilgrimage is also an act of prayer for this country today and for all those who are suffering persecution and torture for their faith in so many parts of the world.
The Walk ends with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament from the balcony of the Tyburn Shrine. Outside the convent in the Bayswater Road, the pilgrims will gather and proclaim their faith by singing the Credo. After which the Crypt of the Marti is open for visitors to venerate the relics of the martyrs.
Tyburn convent fulfils the prophecy made by Gregory Gunne in 1585, on trial for celebrating Mass, who said: the day will come that . . . you shall see a religious house built there (on the site of the gallows) for an offering (to Campion).'
In these present days of 'protest marches' and disbelief, it would be good to see more .Catholics taking part in this annual witness to the faith for which our martyrs died. The procession leaves the Old Bailey at 3 pm and arrives at Tyburn Convent about 5 pm.
On Saturday 4th May, there is an annual solemn concelebrated Mass at the Tyburn Shrine at 6 pm in honour of the Tyburn Martyrs. The chief celebrant and preacher will be the Rt Rev Howard Tripp. This day in 1535, St John Houghton, protomartyr of the Reformation and Carthusian Prior, died with his companions. It is hoped that enthusiasm for our martyrs may inspire more of our people to attend this Mass and to make it an annual event.