Our Lady's Mirror

Winter 1958

winter at the Shrine 1958
On December 2nd in their Chapter House the College re-elected Father Hope Patten to the office of Provost of St. Augustine’s for a further term of five years. Father Fynes-Clinton very kindly consented to come to Walsingham to install Father but was prevented, and Father Hand, parish priest of Barsham, kindly took his place at the last minute. The heating system of the Shrine has proved quite inadequate during the past few years and, while giving out little or no warmth, it draws into itself with the cold air oil and grease from the lamps and candles, while pumping it out again and making walls and furniture filthy and doing irreparable damage to decorations, etc. The same kind of system was put into the parish church some years ago and that is now quite worn out. So what with these systems in the two churches, it looks as if we shall have to face this and perhaps many winters in shuddering cold. Considerations are being taken concerning the foundation of a small and restricted society for priests and laymen who have been outstanding for years in their service and frequent pilgrimages to the Holy House. We hope to publish more about this at a future date. There are less than thirty-six months before the nine hundredth centenary year of the original foundation of the Holy House (1061), to commemorate which, among other things, we are still collecting for the new reredos which Sir Ninian Comper has designed to take the place of the fast-disintegrating hangings which were put up twenty-seven years ago as a temporary measure. Will you send your donations NOW please and so ensure it being completed and paid for? Work has already begun. Many bookings have already been made for the 1958 season and it is advisable for organisers to write at once and reserve their dates and so save disappointment. Twenty-seven pilgrimages have so far been arranged. All pilgrims to the Shrine know the Knight’s Gate opposite to the Pilgrimage Church and as announced in a former “Mirror” this has been re-let and is now beautifully furnished and decorated and should be patronised by all visitors to the Holy House. Here in season, luncheons, teas and morning coffee can be had and – a speciality – delightful dinners are served by arrangement. Visitors can also be accommodated. OUR LADY’S LAMPS In early days every house in England was taxed for a certain sum to provide, in its origin, for the support of the Saxon Colony in Rome and the maintenance of the lamps around the Tomb of St. Peter. This tax later on became known as Peter’s Pence. The lamps before Our Lady in the Holy House were in the first place given and maintained by different individuals or groups of people, many of whom are now dead. A new means of keeping these lights burning has now to be found, and as the doing of this is a privilege and joy that the clients of Mary would all wish to share in, you can do so by letting us have the modest sum of one half-penny (½d) a week or two shillings (2/-) a year. Then, if everyone who reads this puts twenty-four pence into the accompanying envelope and sends it to the Administrator, The College, Walsingham, Norfolk, the lights will be provided for and in this old and long-established way you will be taking your part in thus honouring Our Lady. articles: A T John Salter; 'Some Churches and Shrines of Russia'; R L Gales, 'St Peter's End' [poem]; 'Our Lady of Hermits' photographs: winter at the Shrine 1958 [above]; three photographs of Zagorsk monastery; Our Lady statue and chapel, of Einseideln; wedding photograph of Stanley and Monica Smith