Our Lady's Mirror

Winter 1939

north side of the new buildings taken from the Hatcham Crucifix
This number commences the fourteenth year of Our Lady’s Mirror. The developments that have taken place at the Shrine during the short existence of this little paper are almost incredible. The first number was produced when the Shrine was in the Guilds Chapel of S. Mary’s Church and now, after fourteen years, the Holy House has been reconstructed and stands in a building almost as big as the Parish Church and certainly a much larger edifice than originally housed it before the dissolution. Further, it has been built on what we believe to be its original site, over the foundations discovered in 1931-8. The well within the Pilgrimage Church seems almost beyond doubt to be the original Holy Well of the mediæval pilgrims. So we have much to be thankful for and to encourage us in this work of restoring the ancient national shrine of Mary. On Sunday, January 29th, after the Parish Mass, a few gathered in the Pilgrims’ Church to bless the image of S. Charles, K.M., which has recently been given. It stands on a pedestal at the entrance to S. Ann’s Chapel. One wonders if this Martyr had a devotion to S. Ann – we know his own mother bore that saint’s name. A piece of property with some derelict cottages opposite the Shrine has recently been conveyed to the College Trust Association. Four of these dwellings are being converted by the generosity of an anonymous donor into one house. This has been let and is to be opened shortly as the Knight’s Gate Café and Guest House. Terms on application. A beautiful new range has just been fitted at the Hospice of Our Lady. How the Sisters were able to provide meals, often for a hundred pilgrims, some times for several hundreds, at a time, has been nothing short of marvellous. It will now take the cook all her time to find the good things she puts into the ovens! It is hoped that the main scheme for the decoration of the Tooth and Wilmot Phillips Chantry will be completed in time for Fr. Tooth’s Anniversary in March. His memorial should also be in place and ready to be blessed on that day. The Apse of the Chapel has been painted after the Romanesque fashion. The dome depicts the Mystery of the Finding in the Temple, and below the two Patrons of the Chapel, S. Thomas of Canterbury and S. Philip Neri. We are glad to give a picture of it in this Mirror [not yet on the website]. Saturday, March 25th, is the eight hundred and seventy-eighth festival of the Shrine, the four hundred and first since it was destroyed, the eighteenth since it was revived in the Parish Church and the eighth year since the Holy House was restored. articles: part of the Christmas Tableau from the Church of Our Lady of Grace, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA - there is a note to say that in this church is one of the most beautiful Walsingham Chapels in existence: the present Rector and his predecessor are both devotees of Walsingham and have made pilgrimages to the Holy House; 'Manche Masemola' [an African Catholic martyr]; H.H-N, 'King Charles I' photograph: north side of the new buildings taken from the Hatcham Crucifix [above]