by Pastor David Carson

The annual Protestant witness took place on a cloudy, though relatively warm day, in contrast to the cold, blustery weather of last year. While we might wish rain to fall upon the idolatrous proceedings, it makes witnessing that more difficult, especially for those who are elderly.

This year, some twenty five gathered to witness to the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. Some old warriors were missing due to ill health. Our thoughts and prayers go up to God for their well being. We were again encouraged by four brethren who joined us from Northern Ireland.

The number of idolaters were at the lowest ever, or at least for the past thirty seven years since the Walsingham Witness, as such, commenced. Judging by the time the procession took to pass the witness point at the entrance to the abbey grounds it would seem that the numbers were below a thousand. This is in contrast to the seven to eight thousands twenty years ago.

The preacher of the sermon this years was “Father” Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap. Preacher to the Papal household, who had flown in from Rome.

Prior to the procession there was a forty hour vigil before the exposed sacrament, which had an ecumenical flavour, praying for “Thy Kingdom Come”, which apparently a worldwide ecumenical event this year.

The witness itself was the best that we have ever had in terms of goodly conversations and unhindered preaching. The police sergeant in charge of the policing over thirty years ago and who was always very fair to us came up to renew acquaintance. He retired twenty nine years ago but he often comes specifically to speak to us. We had a long conversation with him about his spiritual condition. He wanted to know where God was when the Manchester bombing took place. He was informed of what Christ said to the disciples said when they informed Him of two tragic events. We told him that the wonder is how God withholds His judgement His judgement in view of the wicked laws that have been passed and the murderous activities of the abortionists. We talked about Political Correctness and the stifling of free speech, especially about Christians being targeted. He was against what is happening and the way police are now being indoctrinated.

Later on a lady approached us in a distressed condition. She had decided to come with her church at the last minute and was distressed at what she saw. She knew that it was wrong but did not seem to be altogether clear about Biblical Truth either. I went through a Roman Catholic catechism, which I had with me, showing her what Rome believed about the mass and her attitude to Mary. She was amazed by what she heard. She left her postal and email address with me so that I can correspond about these matters.

A policeman was interested to know what the difference was between our beliefs and that of the Anglo-Catholics. This afforded a great opportunity to tell him of the Biblical way of salvation and the falseness of what we were witnessing against.

Another Police man, in conversation with one of those witnessing, said that he had been at many demonstrations of people with opposing views and the absolute hatred of people towards one another. But, he said, I have not seen any of that hatred here. That, in itself, is a good witness.

During our preaching at the “pump” a clergyman, who was imbibing alcohol outside the pub down one end of the Common Place, came up and complained about us disturbing his gin drinking every year. During the outburst he swore at us. Needless to say he was severely reprimanded for his language. This was by no means the first time that we have been sworn at by these “Holy Fathers”, including the use of the “F” word.

There were a good many other conversations which took place, which we trust that God will be pleased to bless to those caught up in these blasphemous proceedings. As we returned from the fray we all felt that this was the best witness ever in Walsingham and we are so encouraged to see the continuing fall in the number of “pilgrims” attending. The effectiveness of the witness is evidenced by the lengths the false shepherds have gone to in order to try and prevent the people hearing the truth.