Friends of Walsingham Occasional Paper
We seem to have struck out in the right direction because the nucleus of interested folk who brought the need of such a newsletter as this to our attention has grown to something like 500 strong, and we are greatly encouraged that from such modest beginnings you have rallied round us in such large numbers.
Perhaps a mention of the weather will not be amiss, for surely this inclement season must be on everyone’s mind. We here have not escaped the onslaught and have had our share of the intense cold with plenty of snow, which has played havoc with the roads and water systems of most of the dwellings in the village. The local builders do not seem unduly worried for at least they are making money in repeatedly having to thaw out frozen pipes and make good the leaks!
Friends of Walsingham: With this paper we are enclosing a form about the “Friends of Walsingham” which we hope everyone will do their utmost to join. It clearly sets out the reasons for doing so and we trust many people will be persuaded; as you will see there is a real need for your financial support. That well known writer of the 16th century, Erasmus, remarked that no one who reckoned on prosperity failed to salute Our Lady at her Shrine at Walsingham by a yearly gift. Will you help too?
Walsingham Sewerage: The work of laying the pipes has long been finished but we have been denied this last outward sign of becoming civilized because of the delay in getting the necessary machinery for the ejector stations. We hope it will not be too long before this much needed amenity is put into operation.
Sisters’ Convent: Much has happened since we last wrote, for the convent has been completed, but alas they will not be able to take up residence until the local Council can get the new sewerage system working.
The blessing of the convent duly took place and it was a very impressive ceremony indeed. Mother Cicely came up from Haggerston for the occasion.
Hospice Enlargement: The contract for this work has been signed and a start made, but the builders have not been able to make much headway due of course to the snow and frost. To date they have taken down the old barn and shop and put in the footings. Many old friends of Walsingham will be sad when they hear that the lovely copper beech tree just inside the Hospice gateway had to come down as it endangered the new work.
Special Candles: In mediæval days it was the custom of the Kings and Queens of England to have erected in the Shrine annually, a large candle for their intention, but this ceased at the Dissolution. However, since the restoration of the Sanctuary, this custom has again been started, and every year a candle is erected for the reigning sovereign’s intention by some of her loyal subjects. A candle is also lit for the College of Guardians, a group forming the Company which holds the Shrine and its interest in trust, and this is solemnly blessed at Mass and set up on the Feast of the Annunciation.