from Our Lady's Mirror, Summer 1950
Obituary of Fr Alban Henry Baverstock (died 25 April 1950)


I first met Father Baverstock in the Clergy House at Holy Cross, S. Pancras, then in the Cartwright Gardens, when I was serving my title under his brother. He came to lunch and seemed to radiate a happy joyful atmosphere. That impression deepened during the subsequent years that it has been my privilege to know and claim him as a personal friend. In those days he was organising and developing the Holy Family Homes from Hinton Martel, which homes he and Father F. E. Baverstock and others founded. These have since grown into the homes of S. Nicholas; yet perhaps our own home of S. Hilary may really claim to be the one true representative of the old foundation, since it started as such in Cornwall and then was transferred to Walsingham.

Father became a regular pilgrim to the Shrine directly the revival began and in 1922 it was he who blessed, in the South Porch of the Parish Church, the now much venerated image of O.L.W., on that wonderful evening of July 6th. He preached the oration in S. Mary's on the occasion of the opening of the Holy House—that was in 1931 and became one of the foundation Fellows of the College of the Guardians of the Holy House established at that time, and in consequence he has been connected with the Shrine and its works ever since. It is not however his connection with Walsingham that will keep his name alive so much as his courage and erudition in maintaining the Catholic Faith both by pen and word of mouth. He has, indeed, during the whole of his long ministry, been a real "defender of the faith," meriting that title which was ill advisedly granted to one whose work has made the Catholic revival so necessary in these provinces.

Many a soul is grateful for his sound and painstaking spiritual guidance through long periods. All over the Anglican Communion, Catholics know his name and bear it in great respect, while those who knew him personally will always hold it in loving memory and veneration.

Mass was solemnly sung in the Pilgrimage Church on the day of his funeral, and all friends of Walsingham will add his name to their prayers and seek Our Lady's intercession for him, whose name, under the title of Walsingham, he invoked at the moment of his passing. May he rest in peace.

return to Our Lady's Mirror, Summer 1950