Pilgrims’ Refectory, winter 1954

Our Lady's Mirror

Summer 1954

It is always difficult for any organisation to be responsible for the behaviour of their people especially when they come in great crowds, and this year Walsingham is flooded with pilgrims and visitors in large numbers. Over Whit week some unforgivable vandalism was committed in St. Mary’s. Our ancient and renowned font was badly scratched and pieces broken off, and the base kicked by members of a pilgrimage group; this was witnessed by a church worker who was unable to intervene. So when you visit Walsingham next time, if it is in the summer months, you will see our font surrounded by a protective rail set up to prevent people approaching too close. It is not unknown for members of groups to have no compunction in going up to the altars, looking under the linen, ringing the bells and generally behaving badly. But note this is not in any way the fault or neglect of any person or persons living in Walsingham – we are all equally disgusted. The altar tomb which is to be set up over Bishop O’Rorke’s grave in the Pilgrimage Church has arrived, but it will be some weeks, possibly months, before it is in place as it still has to be decorated. We think it will be quite fine when completed. Work on the adaptation of the derelict cottages, out of which we are forming a north wing to the College, goes on and already we are getting an idea of the final appearance. Certainly it is making a great improvement to the appearance of Knight Street and the north garden of St. Augustine’s. The exasperating delay in the production of the new picture book, “Mary’s Shrine of the Holy House,” is becoming quite a serious matter, but at last the final proofs have arrived. The printers have had the copy in hand for about a year. We hope anyhow our readers may like to buy copies for Christmas gifts and so spread the news of Walsingham among their many friends. Needless to say, the work is NOT being done by our indefatigable printer, who for so many years has printed the Mirror; if it had been, we should have published and sold out the first edition by now! A very dear old friend who used to come frequently to Walsingham asked the other day: “do you ever have a sale of work?” Do we not! Every August in the octave of our parish Patronal, there is a garden fete in connection with St. Mary’s. This year it is to be an attempt to help raise the £7,000 for the urgent church repairs. The friend has promised to make some things for the stalls; perhaps you have a white elephant or two. If so why not send them and let us try and dispose of them for the same end. And the date: Wednesday, August 18th. Members of the various Societies who have altars in the Pilgrimage Church have complained that they cannot find them when visiting the Sanctuary. Evidently they are not sufficiently interested to buy for themselves a copy of the Pilgrims’ Manual where the order of the chapels is explained and the proper prayers to be said at each altar included. However we are preparing a small plaque to be set up beside each chapel with the name of the patron, the mystery of the Rosary to which it belongs, together with the Society responsible for its furnishing and maintenance. These will cost ten shillings, except to those Societies which already make an annual contribution. articles: 'The Augustinians of Modderpoort'; C S, 'How Our Lady of Walsingham came to Modderpoort'; Leonard J Hill, 'Our Lady of Grace, Cambridge'; Hugh Ross-Williamson, 'The Canon of the Mass' [continued]; J L O, 'Priests on Pilgrimage'; P F, 'Blessed Thomas Tunstall'; R F, 'Our Lady of the Pillar, Saragossa'; A T J Salter, 'Our Lady venerated in Wolverhampton' photographs: two photographs of Corpus Christi in the Shrine grounds, two of the College restoration work [one above]; S Columba's altar in the GSS Chapel; Our Lady of the Pillar; altar of Christ the King in S Magnus, London Bridge