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Monday, 25 September 2006

Walsingham - the Anglican shrine

Fr (Alfred) Hope Patten was appointed the Vicar of Walsingham in 1921 and wished to encourage devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham by having a new statue made, based on that depicted on the seal of the medieval Priory. In 1931, a "Holy House" was dedicated, enclosed within a small Church. In 1938, that Church was enlarged to for the present Anglican Shrine.

Here is a rather fine ceramic of the Annunciation which is at the back of the shrine:

The shrine at Walsingham traces its origin to the vision received in 1061 by the Saxon Lady Richeldis de Faverches. In her vision, she was taken to the Holy House at Nazareth. It was difficult at that time for Christians to visit the holy land because of their occupation by Muslim forces. Our Lady asked the Lady Richeldis to build an exact replica of the Holy House at Walsingham and hence Walsingham became known as "England's Nazareth."

There are some curiosities at the Anglican shrine. Here is a statue of Charles, King and Martyr, whose name was added to the ecclesiastical calendar in 1660. It was demoted to a "lesser festival" under Queen Victoria at the request of the House of Commons.

Mac of Mulier Fortis told me of the ceramic of Our Lord's disappearing feet in the Chapel of the Ascension. I managed to find it behind the High Altar on the Southern side of the Church:

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