Welcome to the Holy Cross Festival at Waltham Abbey

Sunday 13th September 2015

A medieval event for the town of Waltham Abbey to celebrate the bringing of the Miraculous Holy Cross to Waltham in 1035 by Tovi the Proud, Standard Bearer to King Cnut.   Waltham became a great place of pilgrimage because of the Holy Cross, and our event will show how pilgrims came from across the River Lea into the town;  how they were received at the Abbey;  and will re-enact the installation of the Holy Cross within its walls.

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We need at least 66 people to join the Walk to represent the 66 Saxons who accompanied the Cross on its journey.   Medieval costume would be great, but is not essential.   At the same time a Quarter Peal will  be rung on the Abbey bells.

Don’t worry, the Walk doesn’t start in Somerset but from the Town Lock on the River Lea (Highbridge Street).  

By 5.45pm  Gather at the Viking ship at the Lock ready to start promptly.  The Walk will take about 30 minutes.   

When the walkers arrive at the Abbey they will be welcomed as pilgrims would have been in the 11th century and the Cross will be installed inside.

At 6.30pm  Choral Evensong will be sung in the Abbey Church, and then the Cross will be taken outside to the Cloisters where there will be a short informal act of worship.   The celebrations will conclude with cheese and wine in the Church.

Residents and visitors to the town are most welcome to join us on the Walk and in the Church, or just to watch as the procession passes.   Please note that the Procession will be under the control of marshals, but participants walk at their own risk.

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On the following Friday there will be special services in the Abbey for groups of children from Waltham Abbey’s Primary Schools.