the seal of the medieval priory
The Orthodox Chapel

dedication
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
chapel of
The Orthodox Church
from OLM Winter/Spring Number 1938
Little headway has been made yet towards the work on the Orthodox Eastern Chapel. The Russian Orthodox seem very keen about this work, and hope that it may not be too long in materialising. They are so essentially a pilgrimage-loving race, and now that they are deprived of the joy of visiting their own Holy Places, some are turning their thoughts to Our Lady of Walsingham, and hope to find a Shrine where they can join with us, and yet by possessing their own Chapel can celebrate their Liturgy and receive the Sacraments according to their own rite. 

from OLM Summer Number 1938
The following morning [7 June] at 9 o’clock, Archbishop Nestor, assisted by the Archimandrites Nicholas and Nathaniel, and other Ministers and Servers, sang the “Holy Orthodox Liturgy” at which Bishop O’Rorke assisted in cope and mitre, attended by Father Patten and Father Lingwood, Prince Galitzine acted as lector and administered the lavabo to His Grace. During the Mass special mention was made by name of Bishop O’Rorke, Father Patten and Father Lingwood and the Archbishop not only personally came from the Altar to incense them, but also to give each of them the kiss of peace.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy bread was blessed and distributed by the Archbishop to all at the Altar and in the congregation. This wonderful conclusion to the Blessing of the Extension was, we believe, the first time the “Orthodox Liturgy” has been offered in Walsingham ever, and we hope and pray that it may be the beginning of new relations culminating in complete reunion of the great Churches of the East with those of Canterbury and York and the Churches in communion with them.

from OLM Summer Number 1945
Father Fynes-Clinton, that untiring and most devoted of all the friends of Walsingham, led the annual Catholic League Pilgrimage to the Shrine at Whitsun. Among the pilgrims was Bishop Savva, the Orthodox Chaplain General of the Polish forces in this country. The Bishop was at one time Assistant Bishop to the Diocesan of Warsaw, and is now the Diocesan of Grodno. With him came a small Orthodox Choir who sang at the dedication of the Chapel in the Pilgrimage Church, which was placed under the patronage of our Lady of Perpetual Succour – as we know it in the West. After the dedication the Liturgy was sung for the first time in this Chapel, the Eastern Mass having been celebrated in the past at the High Altar of the Shrine Church. The Chapel was packed to overflowing, as too were the stairs approaching it. At the end of the Liturgy all received the blessed Bread from the hands of the Bishop. On Whit-Sunday his Lordship preached at the High Mass in the Parish Church, and in the afternoon they offered the Moleben in the Holy House.

from OLM Winter/Spring Number 1949
We are pleased to tell our readers that the Orthodox Chapel has a resident priest, Dr Najdanovich, who is now living in Walsingham. Dr Najdanovich is a Serb who is in exile from his country for religious reasons. At various times the strains of the Orthodox Liturgy intermingle with the singing of the College Chapter Mass. We ask our readers to pray that God will bless Dr Najdanovich’s ministry here, and that those of the Orthodox faith who are exiles in this country may come to know our Lady under her ancient title of Walsingham.



It was Fr Fynes-Clinton who encouraged Orthodox prelates to make the pilgrimage to the shrine, and among the earliest visitors were Bishop Velimirovitch and Bishop Irenej of Dalmatia of the Serbian Church and Father Najdanovitch, another Serb, who established an Orthodox Chaplaincy for displaced persons based at the Anglican Shrine. Archimandrite Nicholas Gibbes, former English tutor to the Tsarevich Alexis Nikolaivitch and the Grand Princesses, backed up Fynes-Clinton and brought Archbishop Nestor from Shanghai to Walsingham. Eventually an Orthodox Chapel [pictured right] was consecrated by Bishop Savva of Grodno, Chaplain-General to the Polish Orthodox servicemen in exile. This Chapel was designed by Archimandrite Nicholas Gibbes.

in 1938
from the 1939 edition of the Shrine Guide Book

 

During the building of the Shrine Church Archbishop Seraphim came over from Paris and consecrated the site of the Orthodox Chapel, adjoining the south-east side of the new building [as in the above plan]. It was so far proposed at the time of the opening of the Church that it was shown in the fifth edition of the guide book [marked 17 on the plan], although Fr Patten wrote that it was not yet built and "your generous alms are solicited".

Perhaps fund-raising was not easy in the uncertain times just before the outbreak of War - whatever the reason the chapel extension was never built, but the present Orthodox chapel, up the stairs inside the Church [pictured below], was dedicated at Whitsun, 21 May 1945 [see left].



The Orthodox Chapel

The Orthodox Chapel
in the Shrine Church

from OLM Winter Number 1942

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