Saturday, 14 May 2016

Our Lady of Willesden

The Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden in London was a popular place of pilgrimage
 in the later middle ages, but like so many other pilgrimage shrines, 
its statue was removed and destroyed at the Reformation.

Devotion to Our Lady was rekindled in the Anglican Church by the Oxford Movement
and the Shrine at Willesden was refounded, 
with a striking Black Madonna
 being installed in 1972.
The history of the Shrine and the Church can be read here.

Our Lady of Westminster

The statue of Our Lady of Westminster is at the entrance to the Lady Chapel 
at the RC Westminster Cathedral. 

Although the statue itself is mediaeval, it was only installed here in 1955
 with great pomp and ceremony; 
a contemporary film of the event can be seen here.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Our Lady of Consolation Of West Grinstead

Devotion to Our Lady has been maintained in the West Grinstead area since recusant times and when Catholics were once again allowed to worship freely,  a church was joyfully built here to replace the secret chapel used within the priest's house.

It was decided to dedicate it to Our Lady of Consolation, affiliated to the shrine of the same title in Turin, Italy, and a painting modeled on the one in Turin was commissioned.

                                                   There is also a statue in the fine church

Information about the RC Shrine of
 Our Lady of Consolation can be found here.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Our Lady of Pew

The shrine of Our Lady of Pew is at Westminster Abbey in London.

The lovely modern alabaster statue was sculpted by Sister Concordia (of the Minster Abbey on the Isle of Wight) to replace the one lost at the Reformation.

There is a great deal of fascinating historical information about the shrine here.

Apparently there is a society of Our Lady of Pew, but all internet searches have so far proved fruitless.

Our Lady of Glastonbury

The mediaeval shrine of  Our Lady of Glastonbury, like so many others, was destroyed at the Reformation, but at the RC church of Our Lady St Mary of Glastonbury, opposite the Abbey, a new shrine has been set up as a focus of pilgrimage.

The statue outside....

.....and in the church, surrounded by saints and martyrs.

Details of the shrine are here and  
information about the parish church can be found here.

Monday, 2 May 2016

May 2nd - Our Lady of Fernyhalgh

Pilgrims have visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Fernyhalgh  (Ladyewell), Preston, Lancashire, for over 700 years. It is also now known as a Shrine of the English Martyrs who died for their RC faith in penal times.

Only four miles from Preston itself, Our Lady's shrine and well, based at Ladyewell House and very close to the RC Church of St Mary, is a quiet and tranquil place, visited regularly by Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican pilgrims alike.

The Rosary Walk at the Shrine:

Holy Well water is freely available:

Interior of St Mary's Church, Fernyhalgh:

The Shrine's web page is here.
Further photos are available here.

Our Lady's Month of May, 2016. Our Lady of Penrhys.

 I do love the dedication of the month of May to Our Blessed Lady and I have very fond memories of it from my Anglo-Catholic days.

Last year I followed the scheme of flowers and virtues described by Fr Lasance; this year I intend to look at some of the shrines or pilgrimage statues/icons of Our Lady.

I will start with one close to home, the mediaeval pilgrimage shrine of Our Lady of Penrhys, destroyed in 1538 at the Reformation. 

Penrhys is a small village in South Wales, situated on a slope overlooking the twin valleys of Rhondda Fawr and Rhondda Fach.   The  famed pilgrimage statue was found embedded in an oak tree and resisted all efforts to remove it until a small chapel was built nearby, when the statue was finally able to be lifted up.

The original shrine was very thoroughly destroyed but in 1953 a new statue made of Portland stone was made and placed on the site. Pilgrimages (
including ecumenical ones) continue to be made as well as a steady stream of individual pilgrim visitors.

Our Lady Of Penrhys

(Photograph by Peter Hopson

The Holy Well still exists and has been restored by the local council. It is the oldest recorded Christian site in the Rhondda.  The mediaeval poet Rhisiart ap Rhys said :
"There are rippling waters at the top of the rock
Farewell to every ailment that desires them!
White wine runs in the rill,
That can kill pain and fatigue!"
The Little Church, Penrhys, Rhondda
(Photos of the Well from

Water trickling from the Holy Well outflow:

The Spring at the bottom of the little church, Penrhys, Rhondda

There are lots more stunning shots of the statue and surrounding area to be viewed here