The Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham

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February, 2017

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The Anglican Shrine Church just occupies part of the site. Immediately inside the door is a small altar for pilgrims to leave requests for intercessions. Near it is the Holy Well which was discovered when the foundations of the church were built. Dating from the C11th, the waters were thought to have healed disease and during the summer months (weekends in winter), there is a Sprinkling at the Well healing service.

At the heart of the church is the Holy House, a replica of the house in Nazareth where the Angel Gabriel came to visit Mary, with its white plastered walls. Inside the Holy House, the brick walls are lined with requests for intercessions and there are banks of candles. More candles hang from the ceiling. At the far end, is the altar with the statue of Our Lady with the Christ Child. This really is a special place.

At the far end of the church, facing the Holy House is the main altar. Behind is another small chapel with a simple altar and a crucifix on the wall. Above, and reached by steps is the Chapel of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament with its gilt fronted host box with angels. Looking down from the ceiling is a painting of Christ and the Virgin.

Next to this chapel is the small Russian Orthodox Chapel of the Most Holy Mother of God with its painted wood iconostasis. Russian Orthodox pilgrimages quickly began to the shrine after its completion, and a small chapel was added for them. It was used by Orthodox Eastern European Prisoners of War based near here during the Second World War.

Near and to the right of the main altar, is the Chapel of St Thomas a Beckett and St Philip of Neri, which also doubles up as the Chapel for Young Children. Beneath the altar is a splendid painted reliquary box. On the opposite side of the main altar is the Chapel of the Crucifixion, which has a Relic of the Holy Cross on the wall. Adjacent to this are several other small chapels.

This is a most unusual building and very different to the usual Anglican church. With the small chapels, many with wall paintings it feels much more like a Catholic Church. It is definitely worth visiting if in the area.

There is more information and lots more pictures “here.”:


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