The Order of OLW


The invitation to become a member of the Order of Our Lady of Walsingham is given to those who have been loyal supporters of the Shrine and its work.

In 1953 Fr Patten, the restorer of the Shrine and first Administrator, created the title of Dame of the Shrine to honour five women who had made significant contributions to the work of restoration. In 1960 the Order proper came into existence and was to include priests (known as ‘Clerks’) and laymen (known as ‘Lay Clerks’) in addition to the Dames.

From 1960 the Order was transformed by becoming The Sacred Order of the Living Rosary of Our Lady of Walsingham. It was intended that each of the 15 Rosary altars in the Shrine Church would have allocated to it a Dame, a Clerk and a Lay Clerk – meaning that the Order would total 45 persons. Members wore various items of insignia depending on whether they were a Dame (a red and blue sash with a brooch), a Clerk (a red and blue mozetta (a type of short cape) and medallion or a Lay Clerk (a red and blue collar with medallion).

In 2000 the constitution was completely revised and the insignia modernised. Those elected to the Order from 2000 onwards wear simply the Order cross and ribbon (without mozetta, sash or brooch).

Today there are 54 members of the Order representing a wide cross-section of Shrine supporters; pilgrimage priests, cell secretaries, volunteers and youth pilgrimage leaders.

Much more information about the history of the Order of the Living Rosary can be found within the Walsingham Archives site.