3 Feb 2018

4th February 2018 - A visit to Our Lady's House at Walsingham

On this weeks programme, John takes us on an exploration of the Anglican Marian Shrine at Walsingham in England sometimes known as England's Nazareth. We have our weekly look at our saints of the week and other liturgical odds and ends as well as a rather brief look at this weeks gospel.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks full programme on our podcast page HERE; or alternatively you can download it from Dropbox here.

Anglican Shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham - England's Nazareth

On this weeks programme John has an interview with Canon Stephen Gallagher in which they explore the history of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham and its restoration as part of the liturgical patrimony of the Church of England in the 1930's and to the modern day.

The Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham was established in 1061 when, according to the text of the Pynson Ballad (c 1485), Richeldis de Faverches prayed that she might undertake some special work in honour of Our Lady. In answer to her prayer, the Virgin Mary led her in spirit to Nazareth, showed her the house where the Annunciation occurred, and asked her to build a replica in Walsingham to serve as a perpetual memorial of the Annunciation.

This Holy House was built and a religious community took charge of the foundation. Although we have very little historical material from this period, we know that with papal approval the Augustinian Canons built a Priory (c 1150). Walsingham became one of the greatest Shrines in Medieval Christendom.

In 1538, the Reformation caused the Priory property to be handed over to the King’s Commissioners and the famous statue of Our Lady of Walsingham was taken to London and burnt. Nothing remains today of the original shrine, but its site is marked on the lawn in “The Abbey Grounds” in the village. After the destruction of the Shrine, Walsingham ceased to be a place of pilgrimage. 

Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham

Our Lady's House, Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham
After nearly four hundred years, the 20th century saw the restoration of pilgrimage to Walsingham as a regular feature of Christian life in these islands, and indeed beyond. In 1897, there was a Roman Catholic pilgrimage to the restored 14th century Slipper Chapel, now at the centre of the Roman Catholic National Shrine.

Fr Hope Patten, appointed as Vicar of Walsingham in 1921, ignited Anglican interest in the pre-Reformation pilgrimage. It was his idea to base a new statue of Our Lady of Walsingham on the image depicted on the seal of the medieval Priory. In 1922, this statue was set up in the Parish Church of St. Mary, and regular pilgrimage devotion followed. From the first night that the statue was placed there, people gathered around it to pray, asking Mary to join her powerful prayer with theirs. This work of intercession continues to this day.

Throughout the 1920's, the trickle of pilgrims became a flood of large numbers, for whom eventually a Pilgrim Hospice was opened (a hospice is technically the name of a place of hospitality for pilgrims) and in 1931, a new Holy House encased in a small pilgrimage church was dedicated, and the statue translated there with great solemnity. In 1938 that church was enlarged to form the Anglican Shrine, more or less as we know it today. Fr Patten combined the posts of Vicar and Priest Administrator of the Shrine until his death in 1958.

You can read more about the Anglican Shrine here.

You can listen to the interview about Walsingham HERE; or alternatively you can download it from Dropbox here.

Gospel - Mark 1:40-45

As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

 That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’ And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 1, 5th week in Ordinary Time

Saints of the Week

February 5th - St Agatha
February 6th - St Paul Miki & Companions
February 7th - St Mel
February 8th - St Josephine Bakhita - International Day of Prayer & Awareness against Human Trafficking
February 9th - Bl Marianus Scotus
February 10th - St Scholastica 

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