A Vigil, Benediction and rite of Investiture was celebrated in St John’s Cathedral in Norwich by Archbishop John Wilson, Archbishop of Southwark, Grand Prior of the Order.
In his homily, Archbishop Wilson spoke directly to the Order and beyond – reaffirming how and why the holy places of the Holy Land and our connection to them are as vital today as they were to apostles and saints past. In confirming the centrality of the Holy Sepulchre to our salvation, his Grace quoted the words of Pope Francis: “From this place we learn how to live our lives, the trials of our Churches and of the whole world, in the light of Easter morning.”
In England and Wales, the Order of the Holy Sepulchre is present in a national Lieutenancy with eight sections. It renders substantial assistance to the Holy Land, through prayer, pilgrimage and financial support (to the both the Church and in humanitarian aid).
The President of the Eastern Section which hosted the weekend, John Prestage, said:
“What a joyful weekend this was. Members of the order were delighted to be so warmly received by Bishop Peter, the Dean and all the cathedral staff in Norwich. This was simply a wonderful weekend of renewal in both our faith and mission.
“For those invested into the order this weekend, they have had an unforgettable experience. I know from speaking to them how deeply moving it was for them and their families. We are all deeply appreciative of all that was done to welcome us at the cathedral, and on the Sunday for our pilgrimage to Walsingham. In troubled times we must all seek to continue our prayers and support for the Holy Land and its people.”
Photographs copyright Bill Smith.