Christine McGuinness’ terror as she feared ‘spirits were following her’ in haunted church

Model and reality star Christine McGuinness was left terrified after fearing a church she visited in North Wales could be haunted. The 36-year-old was one of seven modern-day “pilgrims” following in the footsteps of Celtic saints as a part of a televised journey to discover their spirituality.

She, along with Springwatch’s Michaela Strachan, comedian Eshaan Akbar, The Traitors’ Amanda Lovett, Made in Chelsea’s Spencer Matthews, actor Tom Rosenthal and Countryfile’s Sonali Shah, kicked off the first day with a visit to a spiritually significant church. Although Spencer – who’d thought Jesus was a fictional character – seemed satisfied with the visit, a terrified Christine revealed: “I feel like the spirits are following me!”

She listened in horror as she heard the gory story behind St Winifride’s Well – an ancient pool of “healing water” known as the Lourdes of Wales. And she discovered that it was named after someone whose head had been chopped off, according to legend, by an angry prince.

Although it is now a popular pilgrimage site for Christian devotees, Christine wasn’t so sure, due to its dark history. “That water is now contaminated by people’s sin!” she exclaimed nervously.

Another awkward moment was to come when a bishop did a religious reading, with many of the celebs joining in with echoes of “amen”. Christine stared downwards and confided in Sonali afterward: “I found it all a bit daunting, to be honest.

“I didn’t want to be rude but I didn’t know when to join in!” However, her spirits were lifted when she received a blessing from him and she exclaimed: “Thank you so much – I really appreciate it, thank you, father!”

Christine’s confidence continued to climb throughout the trip as she sought to make new friends despite her autism previously making it a struggle for her.

She revealed during the show that her condition means she finds forests difficult to navigate as “all the textures” are “over-stimulating” for her.

However, she managed to conquer her fears, thanks to bonding with Tom Rosenthal – an actor who also believes he could be autistic, although he hasn’t yet been diagnosed.

“When I first met you, I instantly thought you were autistic,” she revealed to him at a Q&A session for the show earlier this month.

She went on to add that many aspects of his behaviour reminded her of her son Leo, who is now ten.

Christine and all of the children she shares with ex Paddy McGuinness have been diagnosed with the condition – and at the Q&A session, she was quick to correct a man who defined it as a “label”.

“I did find that quite rude. It’s not a label, it’s a medical condition and it’s invisible. Some small-minded people completely misunderstand the health and support that autistic people need,” she exclaimed.

The first episode of Pilgrimage: The Road Through North Wales airs tonight at 9pm on BBC and is also available to screen via BBC iPlayer.

Via

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