If you don't know about Walsingham, here is the Wikipedia article (could do with some more information there if anyone has time) and here is the official site.
I was there today to say Mass for the members of the Latin Mass Society who were participating in the Walsingham Pilgrimage of their parish, St Mary's Ryde. The Mass was in the Reconciliation Chapel which is a mile away from the village of Walsingham itself. It is near the last of the ancient Slipper Chapels that marked the Walsingham Way. On a future visit, I would like to celebrate the older form of the Mass in the Slipper Chapel itself.
The Shrine have always been very accommodating for pilgrims wanting to celebrate the older form of the Mass. I advised the organisers of today's Mass to ask the Shrine to provide the vestments - they duly brought out a fine Roman set that had been recovered from a closing seminary and improved with a beautiful medallion of Our Lady of Walsingham.
I left home a little early because I wanted to call up to the village before Mass to have a look at the new parish Church of the Annunciation. Here is a view of the outside from the Friday Market:
Here is the sanctuary:
Above the sanctuary is a crucifix set against a stained glass window:
And pride of place is given to the statue which was carried in procession from Kings Lynn when Catholic worship first returned to Walsingham after the reformation.
Don't forget (never forget!) what happened to the original statue of Our Lady of Walsingham. It was burnt at Chelsea under the orders of Thomas Cromwell, along with statues from shrines all over the country. The ashes were thrown into the Thames. There was a proposal reported (Catholic Action UK: Statue of Our Lady in Chelsea?) to erect a sculpture in reparation on Chelsea embankment. It would depict the stripping of the monasteries on one side, the burning of the statues on the other, with Our Lady in the middle, with her children gathered beneath, depicting her as Mary, Mother of all mankind. (Information about the sculpture at Art and Reconciliation.)
The sculptor, Paul Day and the architect, Tony Dyson of Donald Insall Associates, were responsible for the Battle of Britain monument on the embankment and are part of the team working on the design for the memorial monument for the Queen Mother. With that kind of heavyweight backing, the sculpture might well be built. There was a meeting of Westminster City Council on 10 October to discuss the proposal. Does anyone know what happened?