Our Lady of Walsingham
Healing and hope.
Walsingham holds a very special and very dear place in my heart. I head off to North Norfolk several times a year – sometimes just for the day – oftentimes for a few.
It is a ‘thin place’. What do I mean by that? Well, it’s a place that has been prayed in for such a long time that the veil that separates us from the saints has worn rather thin.
It somehow feels as if you can sense the company of saints around you as you reach out in prayer, as you walk around the gardens, as you attend mass or go to confession, they are more viscerally there with you – holding your hand on this great race of life!
It is a place of great healing and hope.
In medieval Europe it was one of the very few premier pilgrimage sites – serving thousands of pilgrims every month. One record tells us that there were 60 hostelries in this small Norfolk village!
Our kings and queens were regular visitors and Henry the VIII’s father (and even Henry himself early in his reign) were significant benefactors to the shrine.
But alas, destruction came with the dissolution and the destruction was very complete for such a large and famous shrine.
But pilgrims returned in 1922 as Fr. Hope Patten, Anglican vicar of Walsingham, restored the shrine and once again welcomed visitors to pray and visit this thin place.
Next year we will have our own pilgrimage to Walsingham and you will have the opportunity to pray in this thin place.
Do look closely at the calendar for this week as there are some big changes as I am away on mandatory training Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
I am in desperate need for a volunteer to help with the new parent and toddler group for the coming month as I need to cover masses elsewhere. Cynthia can open up etc, but I really need someone who can make tea & coffee and help set up / take down with the children. Thank you very much to those who came to help last Monday.
I’m still looking for volunteers to help with the Rosary Mission (keeping the church open, providing tea & coffee etc) 10th – 24th October and to help run the Sunday School – we can’t start a Sunday School until I have some volunteers. Nobody has yet been in touch to offer to help.