Our Lady's Mirror

Autumn 1955

18th century Franciscan triptych in the Chapel of SOLW
There has been a large number of pilgrims and a decided increase of visitors to the Sanctuary this year We have been fortunate in being able to have one or other of the College in the Pilgrimage Church for a great part of the time, and although a number of people – of which the writer is one – prefer to be left to themselves when visiting churches, a large percentage seem to appreciate having things explained to them and the opportunity of asking questions. The Convent buildings are almost completed save for the interior decoration and the cloister leading to the temporary chapel. The permanent Church has to wait until friends send the necessary funds! The Shrine is growing old; in 1952 we observed the twenty-first “birthday” of the restored Holy House, a festa which of course can never be repeated. But there are the jubilees which should be kept with solemnity and rejoicing; these are observed every quarter of a century, 1956: 1981: 2006: 2031. While the anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady and the subsequent foundation of the Shrine occurs once every hundred years, the next centenary should be solemnized in 1961 – the ninth in the history of Walsingham. For this occasion we are planning already and we hope to be able to erect by 1961 a new and permanent reredos in the Holy House, as an act of thanksgiving for all the favours and answers to prayer vouchsafed in response to Our Lady’s intercession through the centuries. Sir Ninian Comper has prepared drawings for this and estimates. As to estimates, the longer we are in placing the order for the whole work or parts of it, the more likely we are to have to pay higher prices owing to rising costs. Perhaps some readers would like to be putting a little by for the great thanksgiving piece, and so by saving pennies or other moneys a considerable sum can be collected. Some friends of Walsingham will remember that at the time of the restoration all donors’ names were inserted in what we call “The Golden Book” which is kept in the Holy House, and those so recorded are remembered from time to time at Mass and daily at evening prayers. We propose opening a new section to the Golden Book with the names of all subscribers to this ninth centenary gift. Before we leave this subject of jubilees and centenaries do not forget that 1956 will be the Jubilee Year of the Holy House, and a year in which every pilgrim should endeavour to visit the national Shrine of Our Lady and to bring at least one new pilgrim, and especially does this apply to the great day of the Jubilee – October 15th. Information of the special programme will be forthcoming in the Winter number of the Mirror. It is interesting to hear what it costs to maintain and keep in repair ordinary parish churches up and down the country, and it is encouraging for us, as we sometimes get worried at the expenses entailed in keeping the Shrine in repair, etc., but it does not seem to exceed that of other buildings of the same size, nevertheless it is a constant headache. We now have to repair and decorate the image on the outside apex of the went end of the Shrine roof; to repair the flat roof over the chapels on the north side of the Pilgrimage Church, as well as leakages in the lantern, etc., and so it goes on each year. This only emphasizes the urgent need for the Shrine to be adequately endowed, as are other important churches, collegiate and cathedral and, for the most part, shrines throughout the world. WINTER NUMBER 1956 [in the same issue] Owing to circumstances out of our control and the great press of work at the end of 1955, we have had to combine the Autumn and Winter numbers of the Mirror; we pray for the consideration of our readers. Let us start the New Year by wishing you all the compliments of the season, and a blessed and peaceful 1956. The chief events as far as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Walsingham is concerned, that is as far as we can see, will be the annual Whit-Monday pilgrimage on May 21st and five months later on October 13-15th the Jubilee of the restored Holy House. These two events are far enough apart to enable many clients of Our Lady to make the pilgrimage twice this year, and we suggest two visits for 1956 because the Jubilee is a very important occasion, the first since the reconstruction of the destroyed Holy House. Up to the dissolution there had been 19 Jubilees ending with 1536. As suggested on page 1 of this number, will all who have made the pilgrimage endeavour to come again and persuade at least one friend who has not yet been to accompany them on this auspicious occasion. N.B. The Pilgrims’ Shop has been temporarily moved to premises in the High Street while the new one is in course of construction on the old site, at the entrance to the Common Place. articles: Canon E C Rich, 'The Incarnation and the Family of God'; Anthony Wheeler, 'The Shrine of St Anne-in-the-Wood, Brislington'; Richard Rutt, 'A Message from Korea'; Leslie Arnold, 'The Bartlemas Chapel, Oxford'; 'Lines from a lost diary'; 'The Shrine of Monte Berico'; Dom Gregory Dix, 'The Religion of St Augustine of Canterbury' photographs: the Franciscan triptych in the Chapel of SOLW [above]; the Guardians; proposed Comper design for Holy House reredos; picture of OLW by Enid Chadwick as a design for a banner; two photographs of the Shrine of Our Lady of Berico; OLW pilgrimage at Aldershot; the Bartlemas Chapel, Oxford; two photographs of St Anne-in-the-Wood, Brislington