1938 press reports

Eastern Evening News, 7 June 1938 (repeated in the Dereham & Fakenham Times, 10 June 1938); Daily Telegraph, 7 June 1938; The Times, 7 June 1938; Daily Mail, 7 June 1938; Church Times, 10 June 1938; Norfolk Chronicle, 10 June 1938 The photographs on this page were not in the newspapers : they are the Shrine's official photographs of the day (issued in postcard form), and various other pictures of the Procession from the parish church to the new Shrine Church, via Church Street and the High Street. if you are not familiar with the layout of the village, Enid Chadwick's 1935 map may help
from the Eastern Evening News; the same text appeared in the Dereham & Fakenham Times three days later SHRINE EXTENSION AT WALSINGHAM 3000 Pilgrims at Blessing Ceremony Procession Through Beflagged Street Three thousand pilgrims and more than a hundred priests went to Walsingham on Monday for the opening and blessing of the extension to the Anglo-Catholic Shrine. The pilgrims came from many parts of England, hundreds leaving their homes in the early hours to journey by motor coach or private car to Norfolk. The pilgrims assembled near Little Walsingham Parish Church, where a procession was formed. It was a picturesque scene as the procession passed slowly through the flag-bedecked streets. Boy Scouts headed the procession and colour was provided by the blue veils of the members of the Society of Mary, the Mothers’ Union group, the priests in their black robes, the Sisters, the numerous banners and a delightful little tableau formed by children, dressed in white, and carrying a banner decorated with flowers. The Orthodox Eastern Church, which will have a chapel in the pilgrim church, was represented, and several of the Guardians of the Holy House, as well as Priest Associates of the Holy House attended. Sprinkling of Walls Bishop O'Rorke, his ministers, the Guardians of the Shrine, the priests and Sisters, entered the church and, going along the nave, which has been added, approached the High Altar. A prayer was said, and after the clause, “That it may please Thee to grant rest eternal to all the faithful departed; we beseech Thee to hear us, Good Lord.” Bishop O'Rorke rose from his knees and said: “That it may please Thee to cleanse and bless this church and altar to the honour of Thy Name and that of Thy Blessed Mother.” As the Bishop uttered those words he blessed the church and altar with his right hand. The Litanies were then concluded. Further prayers, and psalms followed, and then the inside walls of the extension were sprinkled with Holy Water. The High Altar was subsequently vested. Six large candles, on which were the arms of the donors, were placed on the altar. Parishioners of Walsingham gave a cross. Above the altar numerous lighted candles twinkled, and around the altar were priests in their vestments. In a gallery above the altar were large numbers of priests, and the nave and recently-built side chapels were filled with pilgrims. High Mass The singing of the hymn, “Mother of Christ,” preceded the celebration of High Mass. Fr A Hope Patten (vicar of Walsingham), who has supervised the erection of the extension, was the celebrant, with Fr Thomas, O.S.B. (Laleham Abbey) as deacon and Fr D Lingwood (Walsingham) as sub-deacon. The local choir and organist led and accompanied respectively the singing of the Mass, which was relayed to the courtyard. At the altar pavilion in the grounds about 1500 pilgrims attended another celebration of High Mass, at which Fr P Raybould (vicar of St Julian’s, Norwich) was the celebrant, Fr Burnett (assistant priest at St. Julian’s), the deacon, and the servers and choir were members of St Peter Parmentergate Church, Norwich. At the close of High Mass inside the building the celebrant and others went to the Holy House “to salute our Lady”. During the afternoon the pilgrims were conducted round the Way of the Cross. Many pilgrims drank water from the Holy Well, and priests were in attendance to sprinkle the pilgrims with water. Later in the afternoon the pilgrims assembled in and around the church, when the Rosary was conducted, the service being relayed to those in the gardens. An address, given by the Rev Fr Biggart CR was followed by Benediction. Amongst those present, in addition to those previously mentioned, were Archbishop Nestor, of Kamchatka, Archimandrite Nicholas Gibbes, Archimandrite Nathanael, Fr Michael Polski (Russian priest, of London), Prince Vladimir Galitzine, Princess Catherine Galitzine, the Abbot of Nashdom, Fr Matthews (representing the Church Union), Fr Wakefield (representing the CBS), Sir Eric Maclagan CBE, Sir William Milner, Bart, and Comdr Sir John Shaw, Bart (Guardians of the Shrine). The actual shrine (or Holy House) was reconstructed seven years ago, and follows the descriptions given in the 15th and 16th centuries by Erasmus and William of Worcester. Its walls are studded with stones from abbeys and cathedrals, and within are fragments from the Colosseum at Rome, the cave of the Nativity at Bethany [sic], the cave of the Revelation on Patmos and stones from Gethsemane. At the AA car park there were 80 motor coaches and 250 cars. Other car parks were also used for parking pilgrims’ cars.
from The Times Pilgrimage to Walsingham Church Extension Blessed A Long Procession From Our Correspondent FAKENHAM, June 6th. Bishop O'Rorke, formerly Bishop of Accra, and at one time rector of Blakeney, Norfolk, today blessed the extension. Some 3,000 pilgrims escorted the Bishop in procession from the parish church through the timbered High Street to the church. A large contingent travelled by road from London, while others came from all parts of the country. After Bishop O'Rorke had blessed the extension of the church the vicar, the Rev A H Patten, said High Mass within the building, while another High Mass was sung in the grounds outside. Visiting clergy conducted their pilgrims around the Stations of the Cross in the grounds this afternoon. The pilgrims were sprinkled with water from the Holy Well, and the Rev F E Biggart CR gave an address. When the image of Our Lady of Walsingham, set up in the parish church of Walsingham in 1921 [1922], was transferred in 1931, it was enthroned in a “holy house,” newly built for its reception, half a mile away. The extensions to this building which have been blessed today include a nave and 15 chapels. There is also a red-brick tower surmounted by a golden figure of St Gabriel. The new portion, 131 ft long and 57 ft wide, extends from the East end of the previous building. The Chapels On three sides of the high altar, set beneath a timbered lantern, there are 14 chapels, each with an altar, and on a gallery above a fifteenth chapel has been constructed. Stones from various abbeys and cathedral ruins have been used for the construction of the high altar. Behind it are six gilded capitals, and above them, five panels depicting scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. The chapels, erected in honour of the “Mysteries of the Rosary,” include a chantry chapel to the memory of the Rev Arthur Tooth and the Rev Wilmott Phillips. Others are the Holy Spirit Chapel; a Scouts’ and Guides’ Chapel; the Fynes-Clinton and Catholic League Chapel; the Ascension Chapel, for which the Seven Years Association is responsible; the Chapel of the Resurrection; and a chantry chapel to the Milner family, of which the present head, Sir William Milner, is the donor of the land upon which the church stands. In the Nave there are stone carvings, the work of a village man, R Money, and painted by a local artist, Miss Chadwick, representing the heads of Bishop O'Rorke, the vicar of Walsingham, and others. The Anglican pilgrim church referred to here is not to be confused with the fifteenth-century Slipper Chapel, a mile south of the site of the original shrine in Walsingham Abbey ground, and which is the home of the Roman Catholic shrine.
from The Daily Telegraph Anglican Pilgrims at Walsingham Restored Shrine Opened From Our Own Correspondent FAKENHAM, Norfolk, Monday There were about 3,000 Anglo-Catholic pilgrims from all parts of the country at Walsingham, Norfolk, today, for the opening and blessing of the extension of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, by Bishop O'Rorke, formerly Bishop of Accra. The shrine which was restored by members of the Church of England is built on what is believed to be the foundations of the original sanctuary founded in 1061, and destroyed in 1538. It consists of a small chapel, around which has been built a larger church, the nave and three additional chapels of which were opened today. In all, there are 15 chapels which have been built and furnished by some of the well known societies in the English Church. A special chapel for Boy Scouts and Guides is being fitted and furnished by Anglo-Catholic Scouts and Guides from all over the world, the altar ornaments coming from a troop in China. Some of the stone carving has been done by a Walsingham man, Mr Richard Money, and the screening by a well-known Walsingham artist, Miss Chadwick. Bishop O'Rorke, who was formerly Rector of Blakeney, Norfolk, preached. The Rev A Hope Patten, Rector of Walsingham, and other clergy attended.
from the Daily Mail Bishop’s Ban Ignored Some 3,000 pilgrims were present when Bishop O'Rorke, a former Bishop of Accra, passed in procession yesterday from thePriests Associate procession parish church of Walsingham, Norfolk, to the Anglican “Holy House” of Our Lady of Walsingham, erected in 1931, to bless the new extensions. High Mass was sung, and a notice which appeared in the May issue of the “Norwich Diocesan Gazette” signed by the Bishop of Norwich, Dr. Bertram Pollock, and stating, “The ‘shrine’ at Walsingham is not licensed for administering the Holy Communion, and no clergyman visiting Walsingham has my permission to do so,” did not appear to affect the ceremony.
from the Church Times AS I WENT TOWARD WALSINGHAM Whit-Monday Pilgrims on the Green Grass (By Our Special Representative) I am not among those who deride the revival of the religious pilgrimage as a nonsensical attempt to decorate the fabric of modern life with the embroidery of medievalism. On the contrary, it seems to me that, in this age of perpetual motion, it should be as natural an instinct for folks to long to go on pilgrimage as it was in Chaucer’s time. Today, the enterprise is far less arduous and the facilities for transport infinitely greater, though the daily “massacre on the roads” makes the modern way of the pilgrim scarcely as safe as it was when murderous mediæval robber bands practised their knavish tricks. With happy recollections of pilgrimages to such pleasant and sacred places as Little Gidding, Hadleigh, Canterbury, and the humble oratories of Cornwall’s Celtic saints, I gladly took the chance to go on pilgrimage to Walsingham, in Norfolk, on Whit Monday. Between three and four thousand other people were of the same mind, that one was more likely to spend a pleasant and profitable Bank Holiday by joining in what without any intention of irreverence may be described as a “holy beano,” than by going to Brighton, or Eel Pie Island, or the dirt track races. True, I had misgivings about Walsingham. I had heard the recent attempt to revive the fame it enjoyed in the Middle Ages, on account of its shrine of our Lady, described as a forced, hothouse cult which curiously managed to flourish in the bleak and bracing air of East Anglia, and criticised as a well-meaning but unfortunate endeavour to gild “the lily of Eden’s fragrant shade.” Walsingham’s mediæval fame, it has been bluntly said, was founded on a lie, and the cult, ancient and modern, more hysterical than historical. Its genesis is well-known. As far back as the reign of King Edward the Confessor, the Lady Richeldis dreamed a dream, in which our Lady bade her build a model of the house of the Holy Family at Nazareth in Walsingham, in honour of the Incarnation, and gave very precise instructions to that end. The lady, being pious and diligent, obeyed, and it is not for an age deeply impressed with Professor Sigmund Freud’s theory about the importance of dreams to discredit the story. The later accretions to it, concerning the miraculous removal and completion by angels of Walsingham’s “holy house” while it was a-building is another story. To saddle angels with the trivial task of house-removers seems an unworthy degradation of their functions. It suggests a mediæval fabrication, about which the less said the better – a conclusion to which those Orthodox processionresponsible for Walsingham happily appear to have reached. By motor coach it takes about five hours to cover the distance between London and Walsingham – the mediæval pilgrim would have taken as many days to accomplish the journey on foot, if he were a good walker. I left Victoria at seven in the morning in the company of a Cowley Father, a young Russian priest from Manchuria, and a mixed bag of the laity, several of whom had come up by the night train from Cornwall, expressly to make the pilgrimage. We arrived just before noon to find the pretty little village beflagged and agog with people. Already a procession was forming outside the fine old parish church. It included about a hundred and fifty priests, with nuns and monks, the Orthodox Archbishop Nestor and other Eastern dignitaries in their resplendent robes, Bishop O'Rorke, the Rev. A. Hope Patten, vicar of Walsingham, with several thousand lay pilgrims following on behind. Singing a litany to a lugubrious chant, it proceeded down the village street to the shrine of our Lady, which, erected in 1931, is as nearly as possible a replica of the mediæval “Holy House” of Walsingham, despoiled at the Reformation. In mediæval times a chapel enclosed the house, and now its successor is enclosed by the new pilgrim church, a dignified building of red brick, with pointed roof and arches, and honeycombed with chapels. On three sides of the high altar, set beneath a timbered lantern, there are fourteen chapels and on a gallery above a fifteenth chapel. Erected in honour of the “Mysteries of the Rosary,” they include a chapel in memory of the Rev. Arthur Tooth and the Rev. Wilmott Phillips. Others are the Holy Spirit Chapel; a Scouts’ and Guides’ Chapel; the Fynes-Clinton and Catholic League Chapel; the Ascension Chapel, for which the Seven Years’ Association is responsible; the Chapel of the Resurrection; and a chantry chapel in memory of the Milner family, whose present head, Sir William Milner, is the donor of the land upon which the church stands. Only a fraction of the total band of pilgrims found standing room within the pilgrim church, which was blessed by Bishop O'Rorke, after which the Rev A Hope Patten sang High Mass. Simultaneously, there was another Celebration at an altar erected in the shrine garden for the benefit of the greater company. It was a sunshine holiday, and it was a pleasant sight when the men, women and children sat down by companies on the grass to eat their sandwiches. The great majority of them did not look in the least like the devotees of an exotic and extravagant cult, but were the cheerful, natural people whom one would not be surprised to find picnicking on Hampstead Heath or mowing suburban lawns on a Bank Holiday. A cockney from the Isle of Dogs earnestly compared parochial notes with one of a band of parishioners from St. Leonards-on-Sea, whose day had begun with a Mass at 4.30 a.m. in their own church, and who had come with their vicar and assistant priest. There was another little company with its priest, well known in the correspondence columns of The Church Times, from one of Birmingham’s ‘rebel’ parishes, and Yorkshire voices mixed with voices from the West Country. During the afternoon, priests made the Stations of the Cross in the shrine garden with little groups of pilgrims. In the shrineSir William Milner, Major Bowker itself, so great was the press that anything approaching a state of recollectedness was out of the question. The image of our Lady is a small doll-like figure, with a disproportionately large crown on her head, and clothed in a spreading satin gown veiled in lace. The Holy Child is in her arms. Chacun à son gout; but I did not care for it, even with the knowledge that it is as nearly like as possible to the original pre-Reformation image which Erasmus and others described. Then I walked to Walsingham’s lovely parish church, with some regret that it should have been necessary to build another church in the same tiny village. In the late afternoon the solemn strains of the Vespers of the Russian Orthodox Church were heard in the pilgrim church. Then came Fr. Biggart’s oration, which is printed in full elsewhere in this issue. Lastly there was Benediction at the new high altar. My fellow pilgrims and I were disgorged in London just after midnight, very sleepy, but very cheerful after our “holy beano.”
Father A Hope Patten, Rector [sic] of Walsingham, was the celebrant at High Mass, with Father Thomas, of Laleham Abbey,Bishop O'Rorke's procession passing through the Common Place as deacon, and Father Lingwood as sub-deacon. This was preceded by the singing of the hymn, “Mother of Christ.” There was another celebration of High Mass at the altar pavilion in the grounds, the celebrant being Father P. Raybould, vicar of St. Julian’s, Norwich. Father F Burnett was the deacon and members of St Peter Parmentergate Church, Norwich, acted as servers and choir. Pilgrims drank water from the Holy Well and were conducted round the Way of the Cross. Others sat in the grounds of the Hospice of Our Lady. When the Rosary was conducted the service was relayed to those in the gardens, and the address was delivered by Father Biggart. Amongst those present, in addition to those previously mentioned, were Archbishop Nestor, of Kamchatka, Archimandrite Nicholas Gibbes, Archimandrite Nathanael, Fr Michael Polski (Russian priest, of London), Prince Vladimir Galitzine, Princess Catherine Galitzine, the Abbot of Nashdom, Fr Matthews (representing the Church Union), Fr Wakefield (representing the CBS), Sir Eric Maclagan, C.B.E., Sir William Milner, Bart, and Commander Sir John Shaw, Bart (Guardians of the Shrine). The Extensions The extensive additions were commenced in the spring of last year. The Shrine, which was restored by members of the Church of England, is built over what it believed to be the foundation of the original Sanctuary founded in 1061. It consists of a small chapel 23ft. long by 12ft. 11in. wide and is constructed according to the description given by William of Worcester in the 15th and Erasmus in the 16th centuries. Enclosing this chapel, which is the primary object of the visit of the pilgrims, is a larger building 127 feet long. It is the hall and additional chapels of this Church which were opened. In all there are fifteen chapels each dedicated in honour of one of the mysterious and under the patronage of different Saints. These have been built and furnished by some of the well-known Societies in the English Church, such as the Church Union (S.Y.A.), Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, Priest Association of the Holy House, The Society of Mary. There is also a special chapel for the Scouts and Guides. The first enrolment was held there on Monday afternoon. Behind the High Altar is a screen supported on columns, which are beautifully decorated and gilded; the five panels depicting scenes from the life of the Blessed Virgin are the work of that gifted artist, Miss Enid Chadwick, and are somewhat unique in treatment. The grounds of the Shrine are beautifully laid out and contain the Stations of the Cross and a full size reproduction of the Holy Sepulchre. The architects were Messrs Milner and Craze, of Fleet Street, London, and the work has been done by Messrs. Bullen and Co, of Cromer. Eastern Liturgy What is believed to be the first service of its kind ever held in Walsingham was conducted on Tuesday, when the Eastern Orthodox Church liturgy was sung at the High Altar in the Anglo-Catholic Pilgrim Church. The liturgy was sung by Archbishop Nestor, of Kamchatka, assisted by Archimandrite Nathanael, and Archimandrite Nicholas Gibbes (former tutor to the Tsarevitch). Among the large congregation were Prince and Princess Vladimir Galitzine and Bishop O’Rorke, Fr. A. Hope Patten (vicar) and Fr. D. Lingwood, who were censed by the Archbishop and received the kiss of peace from him. After the liturgy an address was given by the Archbishop in Russian, which was translated by Archimandrite Nathanael.
from the Norfolk Chronicle WALSINGHAM PILGRIM CHURCH Bishop O’Rorke Blesses the Extension Colourful Procession Through the Streets There was good reason for the keenness exhibited by Anglo-Catholic Scouts and Guides at the opening and blessing of the extension of the Chapel of Our Lady of Walsingham on Whit-Monday, yet they formed only a very small minority of the three thousand pilgrims who travelled to the famous pilgrimage centre from all over the country. They have a chapel all on their own in the north aisle under the patronage of St. George and in honour of the “Agony in the Garden.” This chapel is being fitted and furnished by Anglo-Catholic Scouts and Guides from all parts of the world, the altar ornaments coming from a troop in China. A long procession starting from Walsingham Parish Church wended its way slowly to the Holy House, and the distinct colours of the various contingents contrasted sharply with the vari- coloured flags and bunting hanging from the house-tops. A pretty tableau of “Our Lady of Walsingham” with the children in gowns of purest white, was a feature, and the blue veils of members of the Society of Mary (Mothers’ Union Group) and the banners swaying in the breeze formed an effective centre for the procession. The odour of burning incense filled the sultry atmosphere as the pilgrims chanted their way to the Holy House. Sprinkling the Walls Not a cough disturbed the quietude and solemnity of the scene as the pilgrims listened intently to the prayers of Bishop O’Rorke, formerly of Blakeney, as he approached the main door of the Holy House – a sharp contrast indeed to the hurry and bustle to obtain a satisfactory vantage point, once the Bishop and clergy had arrived at their appointed places. The ceremony of sprinkling the walls of the new portion of the Church occupied but a brief space of time, and the strains of the “Miserere,” sung by the priests, died away just as one heard “Faith of our fathers” sung by the pilgrims in the courtyard. Six large candles, on which were the arms of the donors, were placed on the high altar near a cross given by the parishioners of Walsingham. The village choir gave an excellent lead in the singing of the Masses.
Bishop O’Rorke
1938 Timeline: In ENGLAND George VI was on the throne, Neville Chamberlain was Prime Minister (and after his visits to Hitler promised "peace in our time"), Cosmo Lang was Archbishop of Canterbury and Bertram Pollock was Bishop of Norwich. It was the year in which Lord Halifax (son of an early Shrine Guardian, Lord Halifax) became Foreign Secretary, the Queen Elizabeth was launched and the WVS was founded. In NORFOLK the display of the Northern Lights was visible from the county, there were extensive floods throughout the Spring, the Norwich Cathedral organ was destroyed by fire, Air Raid Precautions and emergency measures were practised in every town and village in a Crisis Week in September and the Revd Harold Davidson, the defrocked former rector of Stiffkey, was killed by a lion at Skegness.
1938 SECTION LINKS PRESS REPORTS 1935 MAP PHOTO ALBUM (Fr Patten) PHOTO ALBUM (Fr Pearson)