SHINE, LANTERN, SHINE!
An Appeal to help us rebuild the Shrine Church Lantern -
and to repair the Sepulchre in the Shrine gardens
Fr Philip Barnes writes:
One of the distinctive features of the Shrine Church is the wooden Lantern tower. By day it provides a shaft of light over the altar and by night shines out as a beacon in our grounds and across the village.
We realised all was not well on Easter Monday when rain started pouring through it during the Sung Mass (at first we thought the celebrant was being over-enthusiastic with the holy water at the vidi aquam, but as the concelebrating priests sharted to shift to avoid the drips, we realised it was something more serious).
Scaffolding was erected and the extent of the repairs needed became obvious. The timber window frames are rotten - with large holes in several places - the ridge tiles need securing, much of the boarding needs replacing, the lead work is failing and the wooden ornamental pinnacles are insecure. While the basic structure is fairly sound, a good deal of work needs to be done.
Pilgrims who come in the summer will also know that the Shrine Church can become stiflingly hot and ventilation in the centre of the church is poor. Whilst we carry out the repair work we've taken the decision to install electronic opening windows in the lantern. This should help with air circulation and will help prevent future damage to the lantern through condensation.
The work is out to tender as I write, but we estimate a cost of at least £25,000 - maybe more. Can you help us to restore this greatly loved feature of the Shrine Church so that our lantern continues to shine out for generations to come?
You can make a donation online (see below) using a credit or debit card. If you would prefer to send a cheque please use this address; The Membership Office, The Milner Wing, The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, Common Place, Walsingham NR22 6BP. Please make cheques payable to WCTA Ltd and write 'Lantern Appeal' on the reverse.
Our fourteenth Station of the Cross in the grounds is the wonderfully evocative tomb, which pilgrims love to enter to contemplate the Lord's burial.
Time has not been kind to this structure and large cracks on the exterior mean that water is getting in and the plaster is being damaged. We are working with contractors to find a solution to making the building watertight, before we can repair the damage and restorer the Enid Chadwick mural behind the altar. We'll need to create a new roof over the building (behind the existing flint and brick wall) and then re-render. If you'd like to support this project please make an online donation below. If you would prefer to send a cheque please use this address; The Membership Office, The Milner Wing, The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, Common Place, Walsingham NR22 6BP. Please make cheques payable to WCTA Ltd and write 'Sepulchre' Appeal' on the reverse.