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The Shrine
  The Shrine Church

The Shrine Church is situated in beautiful grounds close to the centre of the medieval village of Little Walsingham.

Built in the twentieth century the Shrine Church is where the Holy House is located - a replica of the home in Nazareth of Joseph, Mary and Jesus (the Holy Family) - and where the Guardians of the Shrine have their stalls (see below for information on the Guardians).

Within the Holy House is the image of Our Lady of Walsingham, carved in 1922 and copied from the seal of the medieval Priory which was suppressed in 1538.

Cary of Mary with Jesus

This modern church reminds us of unbroken pilgrimage for about a thousand years. The unique spirit of Walsingham is there amongst the pilgrims, as people of all ages celebrate and pray together.

In addition to pilgrimage devotions, there are daily celebrations of the Eucharist, Evening Prayer, and Shrine Prayers - the daily offering of all prayer requests received by email, telephone and letter.


  Liturgy during the Pilgrimage Season
(see below for a guide to the services)

Easter to the end of October


7.30 am Mass
9.30 am Mass (Priory of Our Lady) (Thursdays - 9.00 am)
11.30 am Mass (Guild of All Souls Chapel)
2.30 pm Sprinkling at the Well
5.00 pm Mass
5.30 pm Evening Prayer+
6.00 pm Shrine Prayers
   +The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available following Evening Prayer


8.15 pm Sprinkling at the Well, followed by Ministries of Healing & Reconciliation


11.00 am Concelebrated Mass
8.15 pm Sermon, Procession of Our Lady and Benediction


7.30 am Mass
12.00 noon Pilgrimage Mass
(By prior arrangement for Day Pilgrims)
2.30 pm Sprinkling at the Holy Well
4.00 pm Benediction & Last Visit
(by prior arrangement for Day Pilgrims)
5.00 pm Shrine Prayers
8.15 pm

Sermon, Procession & Benediction (the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available after this service)


7.30am Mass
11.00 am Parish Mass (at St. Mary's Church)
2.30pm Sprinkling at the Well, Laying-on of Hands and Anointing
4.00 pm Procession of The Blessed Sacrament, Benediction and Last Visit
5.30pm Evening Prayer
6.00pm Shrine Prayers

November - Easter - Daily Services

Saturday and Sunday during December and January

7.30 am Mass (8.00 am on Christmas Day)
11.30 am Mass (Guild of All Souls Chapel)
5pm                      Mass (not Saturday or Sunday; no celebration of Mass from December 9th - until Ash Wednesday)
5.30pm Evening Prayer (not Saturday)
6.00pm Shrine Prayers

Saturdays in November, February and then until Easter (when pilgrims are resident)

7.30 am Mass
12.00 noon Day Pilgrimage Mass
(By prior arrangement for Day Pilgrims)
2.30 pm Sprinkling at the Holy Well
(by prior arrangement for Day Pilgrims)
4.00 pm Benediction and Last Visit
(by prior arrangement for Day Pilgrims)
5.00 pm Shrine Prayers
6.00 pm Pilgrimage Mass*
8.15 pm Sermon, Meditation and Ministries of Healing and Reconciliation*

Sundays in November, February and then until Easter (when pilgrims are resident)

7.30 am Mass
11.00 am Parish Mass (at St Mary's Church)
11.30 am Mass (Guild of All Souls Chapel)
2.30pm Sprinkling at The Holy Well, Benediction and Last Visit*
5.30pm Evening Prayer
6.00pm Shrine Prayers

* These services are dependent upon sufficient pilgrims being in residence.

Sprinkling at the Holy Well

Water from the well has always played an important part in the worship at Walsingham. We are told that the original sign to the Lady Richeldis as to the exact position she was to build the Holy House was the springing up of water from the ground. Fr Patten was thrilled when, as the foundations of the Shrine Church was being dug in 1931, the workman uncovered an old disused well. Cleaned out and repaired, the well (pictured below) has for more than 75 years gushed out water of beautiful quality.

The Procession of Our Lady

The highlight of pilgrimage to Walsingham! Every Saturday and Wednesday evening between Easter and the end of October, the Procession of OLW wends it candlelit way around the gardens. The statue of OLW is affixed to a howdah and supported on the shoulders of four trusty pilgrims. The image is preceded and followed by everyone else, singing the Walsingham Pilgrim Hymn.  The pilgrims are accompanied by the Shrine Church organ, which is relayed out into the gardens.  A wonderful sight! (see left)

Sprinkling is a healing service. After listening to a short address and prayers, the pilgrims make their way to the well where they receive a sip of the water, are signed with cross on their foreheads and then have water poured through their hands.


In this service the presence of Our Lord Jesus in the Sacrament of the Altar is celebrated.

The Host (bread), consecrated at Mass, is placed in the monstrance so that we can see it. There are hymns and prayers in honour of the wonderful truth that God, in Christ, remains among us always under the form of bread and wine in the Blessed Sacrament. The service ends with the blessing - Benediction - and we know the warmth of God's blessing in our lives.

The Procession of The Blessed Sacrament

As part of the Sunday afternoon service of Benediction, the great monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament (the bread consecrated at Mass) is solemnly carried in procession around the gardens, accompanied by the pilgrims singing a sequence of Eucharistic hymns. On return to the Shrine Church there are prayers and then benediction is given
(pictured below).


The College of Guardians was formed in 1931. It comprises twenty priests and laity (including the Priest Administrator) who are the legal trustees of the Shrine. The Guardians elect one of their number (who must be a priest) to serve as Master. The Guardians meet twice a year in Chapter (chaired by the Master) to oversee the affairs of the Shrine. Each Guardian is assigned a stall and an altar in the Shrine Church. When attending the Shrine Church or the National Pilgrimage each Guardian wears the insignia of a star suspended from black and white ribbon and a blue velvet mantle.

In addition to the full Guardians there are those who are retired from office (Guardians Emeritus) and those who live overseas or were thanked for their support of the Shrine (Honorary Guardians).

In addition, a small group of Guardians act as directors of The Walsingham College Trust Association Ltd., the registered charity which is responsible for all aspects of the Shrine's day to day work.

For further information on past members of the College of Guardians go the Walsingham Archive pages.



Dr Brian Hanson+ 1987 Mrs Ruth Ward● 2003
The Rt Revd Martin Warner 1993 The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker● 2006
Mr John Downing 1993 The Revd Graeme Rowlands 2009
The Revd John Gribben CR 1993 The Revd Howard Stoker● 2011
The Revd Dr Jeremy Sheehy 1997 The Revd Brian Bell 2012
Mr Richard Mantle= 1998 Mr Andrew Roberts● 2012
The Revd Philip North*● 2000 Baroness (Margaret) Eaton● 2014
Mr John Booth● 2001 Ms Amanda McIntyre 2015
The Revd Kevin Smith‡ 2002 The Revd Philip Barnes 2016
Mrs Betty Jarrett 2003    
Guardians Emerit(us/a)   Honorary Guardians  
The Rt Revd Lord Hope of Thornes 1978 The Rt Revd Keith Ackerman 1996
The Revd Canon Michael Whitehead 1984 The Rt Revd Alan Chesters 1999
Major Patrick King 1991 The Rt Revd Graham James 2005
The Ven Bernard Holdridge 1997 The Rt Revd Tony Robinson§ 2009
Mrs Barbara Marlow 1997    
The Rt Revd Lindsay Urwin OGS 2006    
* Master       Registrar   Priest Administrator  
Director WCTA Ltd   Visitor  
+ Company Secretary   = Treasurer  


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