Inside story of Covid lockdown at Walsingham Shrine

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Inside story of Covid lockdown at Walsingham Shrine

Franciscan friar Fr Gerard Mary Toman has written an account of life inside the Catholic National Shrine at Walsingham during the first Covid-10 lockdown last year.


Published by the Walsingham Association, the 72-page Walsingham in Lockdown reflection details Fr Gerard Mary’s experience of serving at the Shrine during the first Covid lockdown in 2020.

“From colossal heights, such as a Rededication which was watched by over 500,000 people to the most intimate and ordinary of details which, nevertheless, helped to rekindle within those who enjoyed such moments, the joy of being with Mary in the presence of Jesus: this is a story that needed to be put down on paper,” writes Fr Gerard Mary.

Jenny Thomson, Chair of the Walsingham Association, wrote: “This wonderful account, written from the heart and without doubt guided by the Holy Spirit, leads us through the daily time in lockdown. The challenge and sheer devotion of so few to ensure we were able to live our faith during such difficult times, needs more than a mere thank you.”

During the 100-day lockdown from March until July, a locked-down Shrine saw 300 Holy Masses, 200 Holy Rosaries and over 2,000 hours of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament take place behind closed doors with no in-person congregation but in front of an ever-expanding live stream audience.

Fr Gerard Mary tells the stories of the heroes of the hour from Rector Mgr John Armitage to  Pilgrimage Co-ordinator Damian Forshaw, priests, sisters, Sonya in the shop and handyman Gary.

You can buy Walsingham in Lockdown from the Slipper Chapel Shop online shop for £4 +p&p, click here.

Pictured above is the book’s cover illustration by Miss Alice Grant.

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