Our Lady's Mirror

Summer 1942

Looking across the north aisle into the chapels of SS Hugh and Patrick and of S Cure d’Ars
The year has passed fairly quietly at Walsingham, but we as well as the buildings and grounds are all becoming more and more dilapidated owing to war conditions. Father Lingwood has had what might have been a very serious accident. When he was examining the roof of S. Augustine’s in order to arrange for an ominous bulge in a gable end to be shored up in order to prevent its collapse before labour and material become unavailable, the floor beams gave way and he fell through, but by throwing himself forward he fortunately escaped with a couple of cracked ribs. THE PRIORY OF OUR LADY As was announced in a former numbwer of the “Mirror”, the Sisters of the Branch House of the Community of S. Peter at Westminster, were solemnly blessed and sent forth last year from Laleham Abbey to form a permanent Priory; the Sisters who had worked at Walsingham for sixteen years, more or less, becoming the foundation Sisters. Unfortunately certain difficulties subsequently arose as to the exact implications of this foundation and the real status of the House, and as no satisfactory solution seemed to be forthcoming the Reverend Mother of Laleham made the suggestion that the Sisters here, if they desired it, should petition the Chapter for release from the Community in order to continue their work at Walsingham and the foundation of the Priory. This suggestion of the Reverend Mother, quite unsought by the Sisters at Walsingham, was accepted by the members of the Priory, and they have now been constitutionally released from the Community by the Chapter, with the consent of the Major Superior (The Abbot of Nashdom) and the approval of the Diocesan Visitor (The Bishop of London). Unfortunately the Constitutions of the Laleham Community do not at present provide for a Priory as visualised by the promoters of the Walsingham scheme, and so the Reverend Mother felt obliged to say that if the Sisters were released the Community at Laleham could no longer be in any way responsible for the Priory, and so to the very great regret of all concerned the Community has given up its work at Walsingham, but, as we all hope, only until it becomes possible by new constitutions to take it up again. In the meantime, as it is of first importance that so small and new a foundation should have the benefit of the help and advice of a larger and established Community behind it, application has been made to the Chapter of the Community of S. Peter the Apostle at Horbury for affiliation. This application has been most kindly welcomed by the Community with the full approval of their Warden and Episcopal Visitor (The Bishop of Wakefield). Affiliation with the Community necessitates the minimum of change both in rule and constitutions, while the Choir Office remains exactly the same. The Priory of Walsingham is a self-governing Convent, free to elect its own Mother Prioress, train and profess its own Novices, choose its own Visitor and Chaplain, and manage its own affairs. The Constitutions of the Community at Horbury provides for the erection of such houses. Walsingham can never forget what the Community formerly at Horbury and more recently at Laleham have done both for these parishes and the work of the pilgrimage, and it will ever remain upon our list and in our prayers among our greatest benefactors. The reforging of the link with Horbury brings back to us many old friends, and we are more than grateful to this Community for their consideration and kindness in accepting our request for guidance and affiliation. Sister Marguerite has been chosen Prioress in place of Sister Helen, SSP., who resigned some months back. The Mother Prioress elect hopes to be installed as soon as the arrangements can be completed. We are sure our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Father Raybould, of S. Julian’s, Norwich, and all the people of that parish in the loss of that most beautiful church. S. Julian’s was one of the real holy places in the diocese, and here in days long past Mother Juliana had her anchor hold. In more recent days S. Julian’s has been the starting place of many a Norwich pilgrimage to the Holy House. articles: 'The Oxford City Cell'; 'From a priest in Home Waters'; 'A note from the African Mission, Lulindi'; J R Windsor-Garnett, 'The Significance of Walsingham' photographs: Looking across the north aisle into the chapel of SS Hugh and Patrick and the chapel of S Curé d'Ars [above]; one of the pictures in the chapel of SS Hugh and Patrick