Holy shine to arrive at St Albans Abbey tomorrow

A HOLY shrine celebrating Virgin Mary will arrive at St Albans Abbey tomorrow (Saturday).

The Image of Our Lady of Walsingham, which usually resides in the Holy House in Walsingham, will take to the road this weekend as part of the 950th anniversary celebrations of the original vision which resulted in the shrine being founded.

The statue will begin its journey to St Albans Abbey today with a major service of celebration at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Berkhamsted where prayers will be offered at 5pm. There will then be a procession down the High Street to Berkhamsted School Chapel where there will be a youth vigil at 7pm.

The Image will arrive at the Abbey at 11am for a ceremony where the celebrant and preacher will be Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS, administrator of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

She said: “We are looking forward to these visits to various parts of the country. Pilgrims are used to travelling to Walsingham but, every so often, it is good to take Mary to the people and parishes and it will undoubtedly be a great weekend of celebration and prayer.”

The Reverend Canon Kevin Walton said: “Like St Albans, Walsingham has been an important place of pilgrimage through the centuries, testifying to God’s presence with us in Jesus Christ, born of Mary. We are very pleased to host this celebration and look forward to welcoming all who come to St Albans for the day.”

During the afternoon there will be activities for children led by the Walsingham Year4God team including workshops on youth ministry with Shrine Priest, Canon Stephen Gallagher.

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There will be a variety of events for adults and the elderly in and around the Abbey throughout the afternoon, including Bible study, ministries of healing and sprinkling from the Well at Walsingham.

There will be an Evensong and Benediction with the Cathedral Choir at 4pm to end the day.