Last week I was on a much needed holiday to Walsingham and London. Walsingham is a small village in Norfolk famous for its Shrine of Our Lady. In 1061, a pious English noblewoman, Richeldis de Faverches, had an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, telling her to build a copy of the home in which the Annunciation took place. It was build, and then, during the English Reformation, destroyed in 1538. Fr Hope Patten, who was then the Parish Priest in Walsingham, restored the Shrine 400 years later in 1938 and it is today one of the most popular places for pilgrimages in the Church of England.
Worship in Walsingham is very much “high”, and there are daily Masses said, along with various other liturgies, including Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and daily Confession. There is also the village itself, with various charity shops and pubs as well as a Roman Catholic and an Orthodox Church and a Methodist chapel. This year was my second visit, and I very much hope to come back again soon. The only downside to going is the long journey, I was on the road for 12 hours. First I had to get from my place to Arlanda, then a plane from Arlanda to Heathrow, then train Heathrow-Paddington. After that a cab from Paddington to Liverpool Street, train Liverpool Street to Norwich, bus Norwich to Fakenham followed by the final bus from Fakenham to Walsingham! Sometimes, one would require a private chauffeur… For more information – check out the Shrine’s website here.
Returning to London Sunday a week ago, the week that followed was spent in London. I managed to attend Mass in different Churches, as well as visit a few art exhibitions and museums, sadly none of the exhibitions/museums left a lasting impression. It was, however, very good to catch up with friends old and new, including my first ever visit to a proper private club (the kind with leather sofas and butlers, not the kind with scantily clad girls).
Of course, some shopping was done, but not of the usual tourist variety, instead of bags and bags from Primark I return home with, amongst others, a full set of the Divine Office (£35!!) and various devotional items. I also had to put a pack of Cocodamol in my shopping bag, due to my Otitis Externa returning – extremely painful, so this post will be slightly briefer than planned…
I’m starting to realise that I only have two weeks left of work, and four weeks until the move – 30th of August is when I, once again, become a UK resident. Very much looking forward to that….