Russian Orthodox Chapel of St. Seraphim

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Date of travel

February, 2017

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When the “Anglican Shrine Church of our Lady of Walsingham”: was built, it included a small Russian Orthodox Chapel. During the Second World War, a prisoner of war camp in the area held many Orthodox Eastern Europeans, who used the chapel. After the war, the prisoners left the area and regular services ceased although a number of Orthodox pilgrimages were held. The Administrators of the Anglican Shrine asked the Russian Orthodox Church to take responsibility for the chapel. A missionary Brotherhood of St Seraphim was formed to establish a permanent Orthodox presence in Walsingham. In 1966, they took over the old railway station from the council and converted the old booking hall and waiting room into a church complete with onion dome and cross.

St Seraphim became a centre for iconography and the chapel’s founder, Father David and icon painter Leon Lidddament painted icons here using the traditional techniques until 2009. Their icons are on display in the church and there is information on icon painting in the porch.

The inside of the chapel is very dark as there are no windows admitting light. There is a light switch on the wall to the right of the door as you go in.

The wood iconostasis has icons of Mary with the Christ Child and the Adult Christ on either side of the Royal doors. They are flanked by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The four small panels on the base of the door have icons of the four evangelists. On either side of the iconostasis are tall candles with icons of St Seraphim on the right and St Nicholas on the left. On the left wall is a large icon of the Seated Virgin with the Christ Child. More icons are displayed around the walls.

This is a most unexpected find – there aren’t many Orthodox chapels or Churches around. It is small and feels very intimate. It is on the edge of the village ten minutes walk from the shrine, but is well worth finding. There are more pictures “here.”:

The chapel is open every day from 9-5 as a pilgrim chapel and a place of prayer. The garden at the back of the chapel has been restored and will be opening as a place for quiet contemplation. There is a large car park on Station Road. The nearest post code is NR22 6DG and the grid reference is TF 932368.



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