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Father Philip Barnes steps up as Interim Administrator at Walsingham:

Father Philip Barnes, currently Vicar of the Parish of St Edmund the King, Northwood Hills and Area Dean of Harrow in the Diocese of London, is to be Interim Priest Administrator at the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

The Master of the Guardians, Dr Martin Warner, said today that the Guardians were “absolutely delighted” that Father Barnes, a former Shrine Priest at the Norfolk Shrine, had agreed to fulfil this interim role from the end of January 2016.

“Father Philip Barnes knows the Shrine and the village extremely well.  The Guardians were looking for exactly the right person to move the Shrine forward as interim Administrator. So we were absolutely delighted when he responded so positively to our invitation,” said Dr Warner, who is Bishop of Chichester.

Father Barnes served as the Shrine Priest in Walsingham between 2003 until 2008.  This interim appointment is aimed at ensuring continuity of leadership at the Shrine during a transitional period in which the Guardians seek to appoint a permanent Priest Administrator.  That appointment is expected during 2016.

Speaking of his present ministry in North West London, Father Barnes said: “I have loved being a parish priest and an Area Dean, but I know that the opportunities and challenges as Interim Administrator will stand me in good stead for future ministry.”

“Times of transition are opportunities for renewal and growth, and I am looking forward to working with the Guardians and staff at the Shrine to steer its ministry through the 2016 season and into a new era. Walsingham is a place I love very dearly, and whilst saying farewell to my present parish will be very difficult I am excited by the prospect of a return to Norfolk and to England’s Nazareth.”

Fr Barnes, who is a keen walker, looks forward to being back on the footpaths of North Norfolk and hopes a newly found love of gardening might be put to good use on occasion in the beautiful Shrine grounds.

The post at Walsingham has been vacant since the start of September following the departure of Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS to his native Australia to take up new responsibilities there.

Father Barnes will be licensed in Walsingham by the Bishop of Norwich on 30 January, 2016.



+Martin Cicestr, Master of the Guardians of the Holy House, writes:

Making the journey to Walsingham, a remote village in north Norfolk, is also a way to make the connection with the themes of pilgrimage that criss-cross the Bible.

At the heart of our life is the call to be the new Israel, the pilgrim people of God, travelling from earth to the promised land of heaven, passing through the waters of the font, sustained by the food of the Eucharist.

Within the greater sweep of the Bibleís narrative of Godís mission of love and salvation, there are the pilgrimage stories that come to life in Walsingham. They are Maryís journey to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth; the enforced journey to Bethlehem where the Christ child is born; the journey to Egypt as the holy family flees the massacre of the innocents; the return journey Nazareth; the anxious return to Jerusalem in search of the lost 12 year old Jesus.

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  The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, Walsingham, Norfolk NR22 6BP | Tel: 01328 820255 | Fax: 01328 824206