The Shrine Administrator, Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS, writes: When the Archbishop of Canterbury visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham last year to share in the life and vitality of our annual Youth Pilgrimage he spoke of this place as “one of the most important religious centres in Northern Europe”, and “important for the Church of England”. Each year thousands of people, young and old, from all over the United Kingdom and from other parts of the world make their way to this ‘little’ village of Walsingham. Why do they come? I often find myself wondering that, and perhaps the answer is as varied as the numbers who come. But in any case, shrines don't ask too many questions. We simply open the doors in the name of the Lord, live the daily round of prayer and worship, offer the ministries of healing, tell people who will listen the meaning of this place, and invite them to experience the rebuilt Holy House and to receive the water from the Saxon holy well. ... read more
Shrine Church closed during January 2015
The Shrine Church will be closed for all of January so that new lighting can be installed. Click here for further information.
Norton's Cafe-Bar - Christmas/New Year Openings
The Cafe-Bar closes on Christmas Eve (December 24th) at 4.00 pm. It reopens on Friday, January 2nd until Tuesday, January 6th. The Cafe-Bar is then closed until Saturday, 17th January.
The Shrine Accommodation . . .
is closed from Monday, December 8th until Friday, 30th January 2015.
The Preacher at the 2015 National Pilgrimage (Monday 25th May) will be The Very Revd John Hall, Dean of Westminster Abbey
NEW SEATING has been installed in the Shrine Church; for details
and a chance to contribute see The
Future/The Appeal. Further information at What's New - Are You Sitting
For information and news about what's happening at the
Shrine - go to LATEST NEWS
THE SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
The Anglican (Church of England) Shrine
occupies an island site in the village of Little Walsingham,
five miles from the north Norfolk coast. Close to the ruins
of the original medieval Priory (destroyed in 1538), the
present-day Shrine was gradually created from 1931 from
derelict farm buildings and cottages with a brand new Shrine
Church in the south-east corner of the site. Within the
Shrine Church is the "Holy House" a 'recreation' of the
house in Nazareth where Mary received the news from the
angel Gabriel that she was to be the mother of Our Lord,
Jesus. Within the Holy House, above the altar, is the niche
where the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham sits surrounded
by candles and votive lights (see picture below). The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham is
much-loved. It is important to understand that the statue is
focus for devotion - a visual aid - and not something to be
worshipped in itself. Down through the years Christians have sought
the prayers of Mary to support them in their pilgrimage through
life. At times in the history of the church there has been
controversy about devotion to Mary but in these ecumenical days
there are few who would deny a right respect and love to the Mother
have made the journey to Walsingham from all over Britain -
and the world - since the 11th century, not long after the
Lady Richeldis had her vision of Our Lady in 1061. However,
Henry VIII ordered the Shrine to be destroyed in 1538 as
part of the English Reformation and it was not until 1922
that the then Vicar of Walsingham decided to undertake the
restoration of the Shrine. You can find out more about the
history of the Shrine at The Story So
Today the Shrine complex welcomes over
10,000 residential pilgrims each year (nearly 200 pilgrims
can be accommodated at any one time.) Meals are provided
round the clock in the Pilgrim Refectory and the Norton
Café Bar. In addition, a further 300,000 visitors come to
Walsingham each year. A new Visitor Centre is currently
under construction to help them enjoy their visit. There is
also a Shrine Shop in the centre of the village and offices
for the Membership, Accommodation and Education departments.
many people their first visit to Walsingham is centred
around the National Pilgrimage which takes place on the
Spring Bank Holiday each year. This is a wonderful outdoor
event with the famous procession of Our Lady from the ruined
priory grounds, through the village to the Shrine.
But at the heart of the Shrine lies the
Church and Holy House. Here pilgrims and visitors join in
the daily worship or say their prayers asking for Our Lady's
help. The daily
service of Sprinkling at the Well (Easter to October;
weekends during winter) is attended by
thousands throughout the year. Water from the ancient well
within the Shrine
Church is used to sign a cross on the forehead, given as a
drink and poured over outstretched hands as a sign of God's
healing. Without interruption since 1931, Shrine Prayers - a
short service during which pilgrims intercession requests
are read out - has taken place in the church. Many
pilgrims and visitors are content simply to say their own
prayers; many like to enjoy the peace and beauty of the
Shrine gardens. For Walsingham is Holy Ground.
You can find out much more about all these
aspects of the Shrine's work by exploring this website.
offers ONLINE SHOPPING!
Our Shrine Shop is an integral part of the Shrine, focusing
on the needs of the pilgrims. Browse through our range of Ceramics,
Books, Jewellery, Cards, Silverware and much more - and then SHOP ONLINE
Goods are available online or by mail order as well as
by personal visit to the shop, see Shrine Shop
FOR THE FUTURE -
For information about any of the above please
go to The Future - How You Can Help Us/ Gifts/Legacies. The Shrine
Development Office can give advice on suitable donations and
gifts and the simple procedures involved in leaving a
The Milner Wing, Common Place, Walsingham NR22 6BP;
What is it? Pictured above? No it's not
an invasion of aliens - all is revealed at The Future - Gifts.