Friends of Walsingham

Occasional Paper 4

Friends of Walsingham Occasional Paper Number 4 December 1957 [there was no number 3] By the time you receive this newsletter our pilgrimage season will be over and we can now enjoy that period of quiet which the winter months bring, and at our leisure catch up on all those jobs which have had to be put on one side until a “rainy day”.
With this number of the Occasional Paper we are circulating a copy of our Appeal, just launched, for a Capital Endowment Fund for the Shrine of the Holy House of Walsingham. We hope every Friend will read it and give it to others to see. We will not, therefore, repeat the reasons and arguments there given for creating a Capital Fund, but we would like, on behalf of the Appeal Committee, to stress one or two of the points they make. First, the Committee is anxious that no supporter of the Shrine should, by giving to this Fund, take away what he or she is giving to the Shrine regularly in some other way. Naturally we shall be very glad if those who are subscribers can find something extra to give in the “Appeal Year”, and give it to this Fund. But this does not mean that the needs of the existing funds are any smaller or any less important. Next, the immediate object of the Appeal is to found a fund large enough to produce and income which will support at least one assistant priest at the Shrine. So, as the Latins said, he who gives quickly gives double value. Now is the time then, to give that thankoffering we have been thinking we would some day like to make: to make sure one is living up to one’s standard in regular giving: to see that possession which takes up too much room nowadays: and to pay honour to Our Lady on behalf of, maybe St Anthony of Padua, for that object which, or even the friend who, was lost and has been found. Lastly, if you feel that it is difficult to decide whether the current needs or the endowment are most deserving of your gift, why not choose the second alternative mentioned at the end of the Appeal, and if not already a contributing member of the Friends of Walsingham, why not become one? It is hoped that it may be possible next year to give a badge or card of membership to all Friends. Every new subscribing member makes that event come nearer. But remember that, to be effective, a subscription must do more than cover expenses of printing or duplication and postage! Nine Hundredth Centenary: This will be observed in 1961, and this special occasion will be made memorable by the erection in the Holy House of a new reredos. This has long been in our minds, for the present hangings have reached such a state that no amount of stitching and patching will save the day, so at last something has been done. Sir Ninian Comper, who needs no introduction, has produced a very beautiful design and the bulk of the money has either been given or promised. However, there still remains a further £250 to be found and donations can be earmarked for this. Shrine Garden: Visitors often remark on the well-kept appearance of the Shrine garden and Leonard is certainly to be commended for the conscientious work he has put in over the last three years. He has made his home with us at St Hilary’s since he was ten years old and is now doing is National Service as far away as Singapore. Mr Yarham, an expert gardener and a true native of Norfolk, has undertaken the work in Leonard’s stead, but he has to divide his time between the Shrine and the Sanctuary School. How lovely it would be if this garden could hold its own with some of the show places in the country – Blickling Hall, for instance! The herbaceous border of this one-time home of Anne Boleyn was magnificent when the writer visited it in 1956, but until we have surplus finds to lavish on gardeners and plants I am afraid we shall have to be content with ordinariness. Lamps and Candles: Those of you who have been to Walsingham will have seen the lamps and candles burning in the Holy House. You have probably lit a candle yourself, adding another flame to the light already glowing there: a flame which was an outward and visible sign of your prayer, of that “look of loving regard” which is prayer. The candle burnt out, the flame died, but your prayer is still there, and it is the accumulated prayer of the faithful which helps to give a place what is called atmosphere.
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