Monday, September 09, 2013

Walsingham Pilgrimage: Postscript


After the official end of the Walsingham Pilgrimage, on Sunday afternoon, a number of people stayed the night in the area and, as last year, we had a Missa Cantata in the Slipper Chapel on Monday morning.


This was celebrated by Fr Michael Rowe from Perth, Australia, where he is a chaplain to the traditional Catholic community. He says the EF every day and three times on Sundays!


It was great to have him with us on the Walsingham Pilgrimage; naturally he is a regular on the Christus Rex Pilgrimage in Australia, which was part of the inspiration for the LMS Walsingham Pilgrimage.


Mass in the Slipper Chapel is quite a privilege, and of course only about 30 people can actually fit in.


After this Mass, out of curiosity I visited the Anglican Shrine, which I haven't seen for a very long time. As we approached we heard some kind of service going on, with singing, but when we crept cautiously in it turned out to be piped out of loudspeakers. I was left with the impression of the whole place being just a little weird. I'm not quite sure what they are trying to be, but it is clear that they are trying very hard indeed.


Once this was the flower of the Anglo-Catholic movement, now, I understand, the whole thing is a shadow of its former self. It might always have been a bit odd, to Catholic eyes. Now it is very hard to understand.



  1. I saw this picture on your Flickr account and thought it was odd. Is it just me or does the picture of that first altar at the Anglican shrine look a bit 70s, trying to be oriental? There's a scene in Goodfellas where Henry and his wife buy a new house and have a bar decorated in a vaguely oriental, gold, tacky style (there's a clip here if you want to see what I mean That's what this altar reminds me of. You can't buy good taste! I think it must be God given.

    1. Parts of the Anglican shrine are more than slightly kitsch, notably the Chapel of the Ascension with the gigantic feet protruding from the ceiling!

  2. I think full on fussy kitsch beats the apologetic varnish of the Big Barn Worship Space any day.

  3. Annie, yes, I suppose I'd rather gold lamé than bare brick but it's not ideal, is it.

  4. The shrine itself is a bit kitsch but to be fair they do have lovely outside grounds including a nice walkway with decent stations of the cross which is easy to do with children, buggies and wheelchairs. So I'd recommend it on that basis, especially in the week when it's quieter.

  5. Anonymous9:52 pm

    Beautiful to see the Slipper Chapel - my dear aunt was there once with Lady Bridget MacEwan, but I have never seen it. I shall try not to gloat at the dereliction of the heretics, although I think Martin Otho Travers, even with spotlights, is infinitely preferable to the barn of a Reconciliation Chapel - reconciliation with what and whom? Holy Church ought to glory in her Walsingham as a sign of triumph over the heretics who burnt her statue in Oxford, even if they try to counterfeit the Mass today.