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Enid Chadwick
b 26 October 1902; d 24 October 1987
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photographs :: funeral address :: a humorous poem she wrote in 1946
Enid Chadwick with a young friend
Enid Chadwick c. 1949
with a young friend, in front of her studio
c 1949
Enid Chadwick painting in St Augustine's Chapel Enid Chadwick 1951
painting the old St Augustine's Chapel before the cloister was built and the chapel reordered: some time in the early 1950s
(go back to page on Enid Chadwick's work in the Shrine)
in the Shrine garden 1951 © Tim Brown
with a toffee apple and Sir John Best-Shaw
Enid Chadwick in older age
with a toffee apple and Sir John Best-Shaw
in older age, holding her album of orange wrappers (which she collected), during an appearance on Anglia Television in 1985; her orange wrapper collection is now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (John Johnson Collection)
[oranges were once sold individually wrapped in pictorial tissue paper]
the latest photograph in the archives

Enid Chadwick's studio on the left


1960: a pilgrim photograph giving a glimpse of Enid's studio in the Shrine Gardens - it stood on the higher ground near the present Orangery; it was set at right angles to the Pilgrim Hall, which can be seen behind; at this date what is now known as the Pilgrim Hall was the pilgrims' refectory, and sometimes served as accommodation for young pilgrims.


with her dog Bobby - the latest photograph in the archives her studio - photograph taken in 1960

her grave in St Mary's churchyard


her grave in St Mary's churchyard

memorial card: front
memorial card: back

front and back of her memorial card, using one of her own drawings

below is the sermon preached at Enid's funeral, and below that a humorous poem she wrote in 1946

Address given by Father Charles Smith, formerly Administrator, at the Funeral Mass in the Shrine Church on 28th October 1987

"And all those who have the skill must come and make everything that the Lord has ordered." Exodus 35:10

That refers to the work of the tabernacle, the dwelling place for the Lord in the Wilderness. lt is a delight to read of the gold and silver and jewels, of the blue, and purple and scarlet and fine linen, of the precious acacia wood that went to build it. Four hundred and eighty years later, King Solomon built a temple for the Lord, in which the Ark could rest. Again we read of the cedar wood and stone, of the gold and silver and precious stones that were willingly brought to make it. lt is a privilege and a delight to be allowed to build a sanctuary for God, and the building of this Shrine, this very special house of God, was a privilege given to a small group of men and women —Alfred Hope Patten, Derek Lingwood, William Milner, William Frary, George Long, Jack Banson all in their different ways. Today we honour the passing of the last of that small group who dedicated their talents to the building of this sanctuary, that the Mother of God might have a house again in Walsingham, and that English people might be drawn here. "Yes, they have all gone now — Enid was the last" was the remark someone made to me when the news of her unexpected death became known.

Enid Mary Chadwick had lived in Walsingham for well over fifty years. She had completely identified herself with all that it stands for, and it is difficult to think of it without her. She came here from Brighton in 1934. The daughter of a priest, she had been to a convent school in Oxford run by the Society of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, whose house is now S Antony's College. lt was an old-fashioned school, no doubt. Its curriculum was not designed to produce the career woman of today, but it had certainly borne the kind of fruit it desired in Enid. The standards and values by which things were judged remained with her all her life, though she was not by any means an ultra-conservative, opposed to all change in the Church and in society. ln an age which has seen such revolutionary change in manners as in everything else, it is no small thing to have kept the faith, the manner of life to which one committed oneself in one's youth. Many a man and woman would have been much happier had they done just that.

Her artistic ability was trained at the Brighton School of Art, but her life's work really began when she came to Walsingham in 1934. She could not have foreseen the next fifty years, the way in which she would become completely identified with this Shrine church, but she had just those abilities Father Hope Patten could use. He had a gift of identifying such qualities and drawing them out of people. Enid's painting and her personal style have made this Shrine church what it is, and her mark is everywhere. Della Robbia may have designed the Annunciation as you come in, but Enid Chadwick painted the copy which greets you. The reliquary of S Vincent may be modelled on that of S Ursula in Bruges, but it was Enid who conceived the designs and the heraldry which ornament it. * The mysteries of the faith, the lives and legends of the saints, are set before us in a way all can understand. The simple, as in the middle ages she loved, learn directly from her paintings, and many who would be regarded as sophisticated in these matters, find that their unpretentious charm speaks to them as the children of God. Did she learn her love of heraldry from Hope Patten, or share it with him? Guardians come and go, but it is Enid's brush which records their names, amid all the heraldic symbols she could muster. Her puckish sense of humour accounts for many a little private joke in paint which even the subject may not have recognised. Her decoration is direct, and full of devotion; it may be derivative, but it has passed through the mind and hands of someone we all knew, who had dedicated herself to this Shrine and its witness, and that witness will speak to many for years to come.

Known to a smaller number was her power as a caricaturist. Some of us have small collections of her cartoons which we will always treasure. Father Colin Stephenson, I know, considered that in some ways Enid had restricted herself by dedicating herself so completely to Walsingham. She had that sardonic, almost cynical, sense of humour, that minute observation, which make the cartoonist. Enid could have earned a great deal of money, and a very different reputation, had she entered the field of journalism or commercial art, but this was the life she had chosen and loved.

Oné wondered at times if Enid was a lonely person, but was it not rather that loneliness which is part of the life of us all, and with which we must all come to terms? Yet she had many friends, and loved going to stay with them, and developing new friendships. She was to be seen at Walsingham gatherings all over the country, and people delighted to see her there — she was part of Walsingham. She loved parties and invitations and the social life of this village in an almost girlish way. She loved the sights and sounds of the Norfolk countryside. After I had left here, I remember receiving each year a box of snowdrops in early spring, and of mushrooms in their season. Once when I lived here, my life was made intolerable until I had gone to see a flock of Egyptian cranes which had exceptionally settled in a field near Sandringham. But she loved equally the grander delights of London or Oxford — the concerts, the theatre and the ballet. She read widely, and enjoyed good conversation. At times her almost childish manner could annoy those more accustomed to the hurly burly of the world. Perhaps we need to listen to One who said that unless we become as little children we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. Behind all this and supporting it, was a life of deep and dedicated prayer. lt is no breach of confidence to say that in latter years it had become very largely a matter of remaining quietly in the presence of God, for that is the kind of prayer that comes to many older people. But she was faithful to it.

Over the north door of S Paul's Cathedral there is a famous inscription placed there by the son of the great Sir Christopher Wren. "Si monumentum requiris circumspice." "If you would see his monument look round." Perhaps we may borrow those words and apply them to Enid Chadwick. She lies here surrounded by her life's work, and no work could have been more single¬minded. She has asked that on her monument should be inscribed the words: "Lord I have loved the habitation of thy house." And may the shadow and type she has loved here prove to be an anticipation of her delight in the presence of God, where Blessed Mary, Our Lady of Walsingham, and all the saints may be her companions for all eternity.

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* the design and original painting of the St Vincent Feretory was actually done in 1932 by Lilian and James Dagless,
before Enid came to Walsingham


"Fulness to such a burden is
That go on pilgrimage
Here little, and hereafter bliss
Is best from age to age."

How nice it would be
if, when we went on pilgrimage
to Our Lady's Shrine at Walsingham
there was somewhere really commodious,
Commodious and attractive,
where we could stay.
It is unreasonable that the Hospice
is the only place for pilgrims.
It is uncomfortable;
the beds are hard and there are not enough armchairs (or bathrooms).
The Sisters are very kind,
they do their best,
but they do not provide
amenities for people such as us.
The drainage system is appalling –
non-existent, in fact,
though that is not the fault of the nuns
or even of the Administrator
because there are no main drains in the village;
all the same, we object.
We would willingly pay
seven guineas a week, or even ten,
if better accommodation were forthcoming.

Let us state a few improvements:
a French chef to conjure up
sole bonne femme and caviare,
Oeufs porches Mornes and the rest;
a good-sized lounge well furnished;
a bar; a band to play at dinner
and an entertainer afterwards (in continental style);
loud speakers in every room, lest we should hear
such rustic noises as the rooks
or Gurney’s donkey braying when it is going to rain
(or when it is not);
a show-case from Finnigan’s in the hall
in order that we may buy souvenirs for our friends
from Walsingham;
a bathroom to every bedroom.
There might also be
a dance hall and a swimming pool attached
for the rising generation.
These comforts ought to suit the larger purse.

What was it a voice whispered in my ear?
“You cannot expect to find at Walsingham
a Dorchester or a Hotel Bristol.”

But, my friend,
that is precisely what we do expect –
at least the meanest comforts of our own houses;
the maid to answer when we ring the bell,
the central heating, and the telephone
in every room
far better to remain at home
by our own firesides
than face that dreadful journey through East Anglia
to find no first-class hotel
when we reach our destination.

Perhaps one day
our wishes will be granted;
but perhaps too we shall forget
we came to Walsingham on pilgrimage.

(Perhaps pilgrims will agree that at least some of their wishes have been granted since 1946! )

link to Enid Chadwick's entry in the Index giving all references to her work in this website