Patronal festival, Walsingham talk and first Communion

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Patronal festival, Walsingham talk and first Communion

Latest news from across the Diocese of East Anglia includes a patronal festival, a Walsingham talk and a first Holy Communion.

St Benet’s in Beccles celebrated its Patronal Festival over the weekend of July 14 and 15 with a history lesson, church tour, exhibition, parish picnic (pictured above) and Masses, reports Terry O’Brien.

Saturday saw parish historian Richard Jones, give a fascinating insight into the history of our church building, designed by local architect, Francis Banham, and originally intended to house a small community of Benedictine Monks – hence our official title of St Benet’s Minster. 

For this event, we welcomed a group of parishioners from St Felix Parish, Felixstowe, led by Fr John Barnes, whose own church was also designed by Banham.   We learned something of the life and difficulties faced by our ancestors, and we certainly owe a huge debt to those families who provided so many of our local churches and monasteries

For Richard’s talk and a tour of the church, we were also joined by Fr Leo Maidlow Davis, Prior of Downside Abbey.  Fr. Davis stayed with us for the weekend and he was very impressed by the exhibition of St Benedict’s life and works, prepared by the children of our Parish School.  Fr Davis also celebrated our Sunday masses for us, and it was a real pleasure for many parishioners to meet the Prior and chat with him after mass.

However, it wasn’t all work. A group of stalwart parishioners laid on a splendid Parish Picnic in the presbytery grounds, after Sunday forenoon Mass.  The glorious weather helped the enjoyment – and we were ably entertained by Tom and Digby Harrison, on guitar and violin.

Fr Michael Rear will be speaking about the dissolution of the ancient Walsingham Priory on its 480th anniversary on Saturday August 4, entitled: Walsingham’s Darkest Hour: The King’s Pleasure that the Priory should be dissolved. 

The Talk is in the Orangery at the Anglican Shrine at 2pm, followed by Vespers of the Compassion of Our Lady in the Anglican Shrine Church at 3.30pm, followed by a procession through the Knights Gate into the Priory Grounds for an Act of Reparation for the dissolution. 

A Procession will then take place from the Priory Grounds to the Elmham House Gardens where there will be Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

The Feast of the Compassion of Our Lady is a rare and beautiful Marian feast found only in the liturgies of medieval Walsingham. This is the first time this Liturgy will have been prayed in Walsingham since the Reformation.

Our Lady Star of the Sea in Lowestoft held its First Holy Communion celebrations, pictured above, on June 23 when all the children and their families were amazing and truly blessed reports Kathy Fallon.












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