Parish Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Walsingham 1st July 2017
The story of the Walsingham Shrine begins in Saxon times. In 1061, the Lady of the Manor, Richeldis de Faverches, was taken in spirit to Nazareth, shown the house where the Annunciation took place and asked by Our Lady to build a replica in Norfolk. She was promised that ‘Whoever seeks my help there will not go away empty-handed.’ The simple wooden house that she built soon became the focus of special devotion to Our Lady. The ‘Holy House’ was later encased in stone to protect it from the elements. In 1153, the Augustinian Canons founded a Priory to care for the spiritual needs of the pilgrims. Their
magnificent Priory Church was added in the fifteenth century. Only the ruin of the Priory arch remains and archaeology has placed the site of the ‘Holy House’ in its shadow.
Walsingham became one of the foremost shrines of medieval Christendom. Among the pilgrims to the ‘Holy House’ were many royal visitors. Henry III in 1226, Edward I (eleven times), Edward II in 1315, Edward III in 1361, Richard II in 1383, Edward IV in 1469, Henry VI in 1487 (and many other times) and Henry VIII in 1511, in thanksgiving for the birth of his son, Prince Henry. Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of the monasteries and in 1538 the Priory was closed, the ‘Holy House’ burned to the ground and the statue of Our Lady taken to London to be destroyed.
In 1340, the Slipper Chapel was built at Houghton St Giles, a mile outside Walsingham. This was the final
“station” chapel on the way to Walsingham. It was here that pilgrims would remove their shoes to walk the final “Holy Mile” to the shrine barefoot. In 1896 Charlotte Pearson Boyd purchased the fourteenth-century Slipper Chapel, which had seen centuries of secular use, and set about its restoration. The statue of the Mother and Child was carved at Oberammergau and based on the design of the original statue – a design found on the medieval seal of Walsingham Priory. In 1897 Pope Leo XIII re-established the restored 14th century Slipper Chapel as a Roman Catholic shrine, now the centre of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. The first Mass since the Reformation was offered in the Slipper Chapel on 15th August 1934 and a few days later Cardinal Francis Bourne led a pilgrimage of 10,000 people to the Chapel and declared it to be the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady.
Father Alfred Hope Patten SSC, appointed as the Church of England Vicar of Walsingham in 1921, ignited Anglican interest in the pre-Reformation pilgrimage. It was his idea to create a new statue of Our Lady of Walsingham based on the image depicted on the seal of the medieval priory. In 1922 the statue was set up in the Parish Church of St Mary and regular pilgrimage devotion followed. Throughout the 1920s the trickle of pilgrims became a flood of large numbers for whom, eventually, the Pilgrim Hospice was opened (a hospice is 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 of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Pilgrimage: Cost and Meeting Point
Price: One person: £30.
Departure: On Saturday 1st July 2017 at 7:00am and we’ll come back to London around 8pm.
Bus & Parking: The Bus will be waiting for you at 7:00am in King’s Hill Avenue, Northolt UB5 6LF (opposite 22 King’s Hill Avenue) where you can park your car for free, or at 7:00am in front of our church, St Barnabas church, Pimlico Road, London SW1W 8PF
Booking: Please, contact Miss. Sandra Azar on 07530484584 to book your place before June 2017.