Our Lady's Mirror

Spring 1936

The South Aisle of the Shrine looking west
The Altar of the Chantry of Edward I and all pilgrims is almost completed. It is made of stones from various Abbeys, on the same lines as the Altar in the Holy House. The greater number of stones in this altar, however, are from the Walsingham remains. There is a beautiful piece from Dorchester, another from S. Pancras, Lewes, Thetford Priory, and so on. The Mensa, which is a gift we have had by us for several years, has been consecrated and has very beautifully incised crosses, while below it are enclosed relics of S. Prosper M. Edward I was a great devotee of Our Lady of Walsingham and came on pilgrimage at least thirteen times during his reign, and there is a record in the Chronicle of Lanercost, that his body rested "above ground at the Abbey of Walsingham", for six months while the tomb was being prepared at Westminster. He had a Chantry Chapel in the Priory Church here until the dissolution, so that this restoration is another link with the past. Miss Enid Chadwick has painted and given a reredos for this Chapel. It consists of a central picture depicting the deposition. On either side of Our Lady who is holding the body of Our Lord, kneel S John and S Mary Magdalene, while behind these stand Richeldis de Faverches and Nicholas Mileham. Beneath this are three panels; the one on the Epistle side, is the anointing of the sick; that on the Gospel side, the offering of the Holy Sacrifice for the dead; and the centre one is a picture of the general resurrection. On either side of the main painting are four smaller panels with three-quarter figures of various saints and two uncanonised kings, Charles I, KM, and Edward I, the others being S Augustine, BCD, S Monica, W, S Vincent DM, S Thomas of Canterbury, BM, S Mary Magdalene, P, S Hugh, BC. In the background of these are local Walsingham scenes, such as the Common Place, the Abbey Grounds, the Shrine. Owing to the fitting-up of the Chantry Chapel, it has been found necessary to carry out our original plan of putting up a repository for the sale of guides, souvenirs, and the work of the Shrine Crafts Guild. This is a small wooden hut in the gardens and has already released the Sanctuary of much bartering and chatter. So far (June 20) we have had eleven organised pilgrimages this season, but all have been small. It is remarkable that English Catholics do not rise to the opportunities offered. The Roman Catholics seem to be leaving no stone unturned to bring people to the Slipper Chapel. Last week they had a splendid Children’s Pilgrimage, close on one thousand strong, accompanied by the Bishop of the Diocese and blessed at Liverpool Street by the Arch Bishop of Westminster. When will His Grace of Canterbury identify himself with those assisting at a Pilgrimage to the English Shrine? A small stone from the Garden of Gethsemane has been sent for insertion into the inner walls of the Shrine. It will be remembered that a fragment of the cave of the Nativity at Bethlehem was given to us by the Archbishop of the Jordan some years back. A piece, about two inches square, of the Mosaic Pavement of Caiaphas’ Palace has also been given, these are treasures. The extension of the Hospice, providing the Sisters with a proper “enclosure” consisting of extra cells, a Common Room and a small private garden, is completed and are in occupation. They were blessed on the Solemnity of S. Benedict. article: notes of an address given by Fr Mather, Director of the Society of Retreat Conductors illustration: Enid Chadwick's drawing of the South Aisle of the Shrine Church looking west [above]