Cardigan, less than 100 miles from the capital of Wales
Only 17 souls attended (18 if you include the church cat) and, if anyone so inclined had fired a shotgun during Mass, I am sure that none of the congregation would have been injured.
If you project this decline in numbers (roughly 50% down on last year), by my reckoning, in the year 2017, only the church cat will be in attendance and there's some speculation that he may be Church of Wales!
It was, a great occasion, nonetheless; the Newcastle Emlyn Schola sang the Mass beautifully and the servers served well.
After Mass came a break for tea and cake and then devotions in front of the Blessed Sacrament led by Paul, deacon of Menevia, and many thanks to him.
However, 17 people at a national pilgrimage is something of an insult to Our Lady of the Taper. Despite the valiant efforts of our LMS representative, it just did not cut the mustard.
What to do?
I do not know how much publicity and promotional activity LMS HQ put behind the day, it would be interesting to be able to see a breakdown of pilgrimage support costs broken down by pilgrimage.
Will there be another pilgrimage next year? I hope so. There is no shortage of would be helpers on standby.
I have two constructive suggestions to make.
First, be aware of Catholic etiquette and good manners when planning such an important event.
And, second, start the planning process for 2013 now, yes, now!