Our Lady's Mirror

Summer 1944

The tomb of Fr Tooth
The ban, unfortunately, has made it necessary for all pilgrimages planned for this summer to be cancelled, with the exception of those small local ones within the zone. The cessation of pilgrimages has been a very serious matter for the maintenance of the Shrine, and we were hoping 1944 would have seen the return of visitors to the Holy House. A NEW VENTURE For many years it has been the hope of those working at Walsingham to be able to establish a Choir School to provide adequate music for the Shrine. Such a School has been made possible through the kindness of Fr Eyden, the Headmaster of Quainton Hall, Harrow. This is a preparatory for the public schools, consisting of some two hundred boys, in connection with which there is a small boarding school in the country. Fr Eyden has been interested in the proposed Shrine Choir School for some years, and when the Government requisitioned the premises at Long Marston for war needs, he generously offered the School and its plant to the Shrine, if we could open at Walsingham this summer. It was too good an offer and too opportune a chance to turn down. So by June 1st, mid-term, we hope to have the nucleus of this foundation established here. The staff from Long Marston is also coming, and this includes Mr. A. T. Batts, M.R.S.T., A.R.C.M., the well-known plainsong expert, who trained the choir at S. Mary’s, Somers Town, which became so famous. The Walsingham Choir School has no connection with any other Song School of the past or present. Besides providing training in Church Music and Singing, a general education in preparation for the public schools will be given. The Shrine will be used by the School, while it is proposed to allocate the Chapel of S. George (Scouts’ Chapel) as their particular charge. The advantages of a sound Catholic training in the formative years of a boy’s life need no comment. As a temporary measure, until other premises become vacant, or it is possible to start building, the School is to be housed in the Administrator’s Court, adjoining the Shrine. These premises are ultimately for use of the Priests’ College, and they are being adapted in such a way that the College can take over with a minimum of alteration. A close link will be maintained with the parent School at Harrow, and Fr Eyden will remain Headmaster. This venture, while adding to the burden of your prayers, should be of real interest to all readers of The Mirror and friends of Walsingham and we hope that through them a constant supply of boys will be found for the School. Copies of the prospectus can be had on application to the Secretary, The Shrine Office, Walsingham. Special terms will be offered to boys with voices of exceptional promise. One of the first necessities for singing is a good piano – one, at least; but try as we may we can find nothing worth using; indeed, pianos are at a premium. Would any Friend of Walsingham or the Shrine venture, under these difficult circumstances, to lend us, or better still, given an instrument, and so make us eternally indebted, and become one of our first Benefactors? A good second-hand piano, if to be found, would suit our needs, anyhow for the present. The School will be known as Quainton Hall School (Country Branch), Walsingham. articles: 'S Julian's, Norwich'; Alban Baverstock, 'The Mariological Implications of the Protevangelium' photographs: The tomb of Fr Tooth [above]; interior of the Holy House; The chapel of the Coronation of Our Lady