Our Lady's Mirror

Spring 1940

Fr Lury, one of the original Guardians, who has just died
The Shrine Church has proved to be of great parochial value during the past winter, as it was beyond our slender purses to black-out the great perpendicular windows of the Parish Church. All evening Services and Masses before 8 o’clock were said there. Unfortunately the evening Services were very badly attended, people fearing to venture out in the dark. What a demoralising effect electric lighted streets have. Ten years ago, no one thought twice of the black village streets and lanes. The Walsingham Children’s Home. The children are still in their flat at the Vicarage, but we hope they will soon be able to get into their own home. But we do want to be able to put in a proper cooking range and heating stove, as well as a bath. These things being found in everyone’s house – it seems a strange thing to say, but readers must remember we are quite in the wilds at Walsingham. A great honour has been indirectly paid to the College of Guardians by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s appointment of Father Vernon to the Bishoprick in Madagascar. The Bishop Elect has been one of our Guardians since 1935 and for a long time one of the most keen and regular devotees of the Shrine. Our prayers must follow Father Vernon in his very onerous task. In the death of Father Lury, the Shrine has lost one of its greatest friends and supporters. For years he has been a most regular pilgrim to the Holy House and when the College of Guardians was formed he became one of the four Original Fellows. Like so many who become enthusiastic clients of Our Lady of Walsingham, he had to be almost dragged into his first pilgrimage, but having once taken the plunge, he came again and again. His advice has always been of the greatest value in forming the policy and in the development of the work here, and we shall miss more than we can say, this great lover of Our Lady and her National Shrine. WHIT MONDAY PILGRIMAGE The second anniversary of the blessing of the extension to the Shrine has dawned bright and sunny, and although several visitors to the Hospice had been prevented owing to war work from coming over the weekends as arranged, yet Whit-Monday saw the beginning of the stream of pilgrims at an early hour. Saturday previously was a most hectic day. One supposes that most people who have the telephone are on the habit of “blessing it,” at times, but all day long that wretched phone went, and it was the same old questions, “is the pilgrimage off?” “will the buses run?” interspersed by a few saying, “we shall not be coming”, “our bus will not run”. However, on the day many more came than were expected considering the times. And from 11 o’clock onwards the silence of the Pilgrimage Church was constantly broken by the sound of singing in the distance gradually drawing nearer and at last ringing out in the Church itself as the various groups of pilgrims approached the Holy House. They came from London, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Huntingdon, Worcestershire, etc. And soon the Nave was well filled with a most devout crowd. At 12 o’clock Archimandrite Nicholas Gibbes was conducted to his seat in the Sanctuary, followed by the Ministers of the Mass. Six Guardians were present. During the afternoon, various groups made the stations, all the pilgrims were sprinkled and drank the waters of the well. Several made the visit to the altars, etc. At 4.45 the Rosary was said, followed by a most stirring oration by Father Reggie Kingdon, based on the story of Judeth. Benediction followed. During the afternoon, the Annual Oakworth (Yorkshire) pilgrimage turned up and stayed the night, and a High Mass was sung for the pilgrims on Tuesday at 10 o’clock. photograph: Fr Lury, a recently-deceased Guardian [above]