The history of Walsingham's healing ministry and St Joseph's Wing
Even during the war when pilgrimages were few, the healing aspect of the Shrine's ministry never ceased, the intercessions continued, and the Shrine's own well has always been available daily for Sprinkling. This much was an integral part of the whole Walsingham experience, but over the years the Guardians grew concerned that not enough was being done for those with special needs: "We need to show the sick and handicapped a real welcome and to create an atmosphere where Walsingham is a place of refreshment and hope."
This led to the first dedicated "Pilgrimage for the Sick" on 3 July 1982 (held annually ever since). It was intended as "an act of devotion for the sick and all those concerned with their welfare". After a Mass at the Halifax Altar in the Shrine gardens there was Sprinkling, individual counselling, and Anointing. Soon after this it was decided to build accommodation specifically for disabled pilgrims. The site was blessed by Bishop Anselm Genders CR on 16 December 1984 and the completed St Joseph's Wing was opened on 4 October 1985 by the Duchess of Kent.
From 2003 the pilgrimage has been called the "Pilgrimage for Healing and Renewal", and remains one of the major pilgrimages of the Shrine's year.