News from around the Parishes


Organ Recital



Organiste Titulaire de la Cathédrale de Montpellier


A good number of people attended an excellent organ recital in S. Mary's Church during the afternoon of Saturday 16th September.

The artistic director of Saisons de Musique Sacrée at Montpellier Cathedral gave a stunning performance including works by Purcell, Bach and Louis Vierne.


Burnham & Walsingham Deanery Pilgrimage


The Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, came to Walsingham on 16th June for the Burnham & Walsingham Deanery Prayer Pilgrimage.



He travelled from S. Nicholas, Wells-Next-The-Sea, by the Wells Walsingham Light Railway,




was greeted by parishioners






and then visited the school.





The pilgrimage proceeded to Wighton and Warham before returning to Wells.

More images of the Pilgrimage are in this website's Photo Albums (above left)

or may be seen using this link to The Shrine's Photo Gallery.


40th Wedding Anniversary

Garry & Gill Getley

Palm Sunday 2017 marked

the 40th Wedding Annversary of

Gary (S. Mary's Bell Tower Captain and Server)

and Gill Getley.

After the Parish Mass, Fr Andrew Mitcham

presented the couple with a card, flowers and

champagne from the congregation, following

which Gary cut the cake!




Consecration and First Vows

On 21st February 2017, the Liturgy of Consecration and First Vows marked Cherry Foster's entry into The Single Consecrated Life.

The service was conducted by The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, The Bishop of Wakefield, who was also the Celebrant at The Mass.

The preacher was Fr Peter Yates CSWG.

More photos of the service may be seen
by 'clicking' Photo Albums on the left.



Advent at St Mary's




The O Antiphons, also known as The great 'O's are Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers of the last seven days of Advent in Western Christian traditions. They are also used as the alleluia verses on the same days in the Catholic Mass.

They are referred to as the "O Antiphons" because the title of each one begins with the interjection "O". Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture. They are:

December 17: O Sapientia - O Wisdom

December 18: O Adona - O Lord

December 19: O Radix Jesse - O Root of Jesse

December 20: O Clavis David - O Key of David

December 21: O Oriens - O Dayspring

December 22: O Rex Gentium - O King of the nations

December 23: O Emmanuel - O With Us is God



These wonderful banners in St Mary’s were created by Alan Heath.



Homily preached at the

Feast of The Assumption
Parish Mass

at St Mary's, Little Walsingham

by Fr Jon Jenkins SSC
Assistant Priest at St Barnabas
Dunwoody, Georgis, USA

“So shall all be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in proper order. Christ as the first-fruits, and then, those who belong to him.” 1 Cor. 15:22-23

Since as early as the Council of Nicaea in 325, people have been asking after the body of Mary. Once it was safe to worship in public, the people wanted to build Churches to honor the saints, most especially the Mother of Jesus, and they needed relics to place in the altars.

Even then, the story was told that there was no body to be had. Although the accounts of what happened with Mary varied, the basic story remained the same: that Mary indeed died, but was soon thereafter taken by Christ into Heaven.

This was the “assumption” or assertion of the early Church Fathers, including Origen, St. Ephrem of Edessa, and St. Augustine.

But it was not until after the First Council of Ephesus in 431 that the Feasts of St. Mary became prevalent, first in the East, then in the West. Perhaps the thought was, “If we cannot honor the body of Mary, perhaps we can honor the memory of her.”

Before the end of the 5th century, many apocryphal stories titled “Transitus Mariae” began to appear. More than a score of these survive to this day, written in Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopian, Coptic, Greek, Armenian, and Latin.

We also have numerous surviving liturgies leading up to the Council of Ephesus, and following. The earliest liturgical devotions that have survived came from Syria in the 5th Century, then spread to Egypt and Ethiopia. By the end of the 6th Century, the Emperor Maurice set August 15th as the Feast of the Dormition of Mary.

From there, the devotions seemed to have spread to Thessalonica, in modern-day Greece, then Rome, Germania, and by the end of the 7th Century, England.

The devotions began as a feast of the commemoration of the death or dormition of Mary, but soon shifted to the Assumption. As it is with Jesus, the death is honourable, but the glory is in the Resurrection and Ascension to heaven!

Here are two brief accounts of the story of the Assumption of Mary, as it was told and preached in the 5th and 7th Centuries:

The first is from Armenia in the early 7th Century, told in the style of another Annunciation, only this time Gabriel is foretelling Mary of her death:

The Angel said, “The time for your disease has come, and for your rest in the place prepared, inaccessible to men…and you are departing from earth without difficulty, not like the rest of those who sleep, because your departure and theirs is dissimilar; for you gave birth in a wondrous wise, and did not lose your virginity. Never, you see, in times remote, or in recent has there appeared in the ranks of men a Virgin Mother of God, never a spiritual child-bearing. In like fashion, your departure too, and the rest that is your falling asleep, has been changed by the reason of the fullness of the grace than genuinely belongs to you, O virgin most holy. For this reason, sorrow and anguish have vanished from you. And it is hard to know what to say of the place, inexpressible and so delightful, which the Lord has prepared for you, and in which glory follows upon glory without interruption. In utter joy, therefore, rejoice over the delights to come, O virgin most holy, and do not be terrified by the thought of a cruel death; for I am come not to fill you with fright, but to remove fear of death from you; for the Lord himself, your only-begotten son, will lead you, O Virgin most holy, with heaven’s ranks, and angel choirs to rest eternal.”

Notice this passage of comfort from Gabriel: “…for I am not come to fill you with fright, but to remove fear of death from you…”. St. John tells us in his first Epistle, when love is perfected, we have no need of fear, even of death.

The second account I want to share with you is an earlier 5th century account of the Assumption, this time told from the perspective of Mary.

“On a certain day, the heart of the Virgin was filled with inexpressible longing to behold her son, and she wept abundantly, when suddenly an angel appeared before her saying, ‘Hail Mary, full of Grace! I bring thee a bunch of palm branches, gathered from Paradise. Command that it be carried before thy bier on the day of thy burial, for in three days, thy soul shall enter Paradise, where thy Son awaits thy coming.’

And Mary bowed her head and said, ‘Be it unto me as thou sayest: and if I have found favour in thy sight, grant that the Apostles, my brethren, may be united to me before I die, that in their presence I may yield up my soul to God.’ And the angel did as she asked. And when Mary saw them all gathered bout her, she thanked God, and placed in the hands of St. John the shining palm branch and desired that he should bear it for her as the angel of the Lord had directed.

After the apostles prayed that Jesus would receive her, Mary laid herself upon her bed and composed herself for death. And John wept bitterly. And at about the third hour of the night, as Peter stood at hear head, and John at her feet, and the Apostles near her, Jesus himself appeared, accompanied by an innumerable host of angels, and Jesus said to his mother, ‘Arise my beloved, come with me from Lebanon and receive the crown that is destined for thee.’ And Mary lifted her eyes to her son and said, ‘My heart is ready.’ And immediately the soul do Mary was lifted to heaven while the angels sang, ‘Hosannas in the Highest.’”

So, given these wondrously peculiar stories, and this particular solemnity of Mary, what does this feast offer to us poor sinners, in the 21st Century?

First, although this story is somewhat unique, it is not unprecedented, in the sense that God had previously called to himself certain individuals who were righteous in his eyes. The prevailing idiom in the Old Testament for this righteousness is: “they walked with God.”

In Genesis, we hear of Enoch, who was a righteous man, who walked with God, and one Day, Enoch was no more, for God took him! No death, no burial…but no more Enoch. He was the calibre of man that God simply took him.

I suppose this is still possible. What if we had such a relationship with God that one day, while taking a walk, talking and praying with God, we suddenly found ourselves walking the streets of Heaven…which are apparently paved with God’s intentions…

Where has Fr. Andrew gone? We don’t know…he went to take a walk with God, and now he is no more. It’s happened before.

Another example is Elijah. This faithful prophet had many burdens in his life, prophesying a famine, preaching to kings, calling for the repentance of people in a lean time, and God took him in spectacular fashion, as in a Chariot of fire to heaven, while his successor Elisha looked on in wonder.

Mary’s story is indeed a bit more romantic, in that it contains a very passionate human and divine interaction. Human, in that it is a story of mother and son. Divine in that this was a miraculous resurrection, conquering both life and death!

We might pause to think a moment, if you were the resurrected Son of God, having accomplished the salvation of the world, would you not attend your own righteous mother’s funeral?

What would you say to the woman that bore you, the mother who nursed you? Would you not long to touch the hands that carried you as a child, and helped you up when you had fallen? Would you not long to call out to the voice that once guided you, and beckon her to come and see the kingdom prepared for us all?

If you could give her a sneak-preview of a well-deserved glimpse of eternal life, would you not want to be there yourself, and welcome her into heaven?

How many of our ancestors, perhaps are there, who await to show us the same things?


The second and final point to be made is this, which Fr. Philip gracefully only grazed last night, leaving me room to expound upon this morning: Mary’s Assumption is yet among the first of many more to come.

The Assumption of Mary, wonderful as it is, should not be seen as some extraordinary fantasy, or piece of peculiar folklore, but rather a model of the hope for every Christian soul!

Blessed St. Paul reminds in the Epistle this morning: “Just as all die in Adam, so shall all be brought to life in Christ, but all of them in proper order: Christ as the first fruits, and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him.”


Mary is the first we know of to be called by Christ from the grave, resurrected, and taken to himself...but she will not be the last.

Do you not remember the words of Jesus to the disciples at the Last Supper in the Gospel of John, beginning at the 14th Chapter? “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. I my father’s house, there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and take you to myself, so that where I am, you may be also.”

My friends, the Assumption, mysterious and miraculous as it is, is but the first of many more to come!

Walk closely with God. Invite him to join you on your walks through the village, in the shrine, and perhaps even as you commute to work or to the store.

Pray in your churches, but also in your streets, and in your homes. Edify your priests, and your families, with a wall of prayerful protection. Be certain that God knows your voice, and knows it well.

Who knows? ...perhaps God will find you to be of such righteousness, that he calls you early.

Or perhaps, more intimately, Christ will come with his mother, to gather the people himself, whose voices he knows best, and for whom he is eager, to give a personal tour of the kingdom.

“Just as all die in Adam, so shall all be brought to life in Christ, but all of them in proper order: Christ as the first fruits, and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him.” 




A new organ for St Giles' Parish Church

On the 18th May 2016, a new Viscount Envoy Digital Church Organ was installed in St Giles Church by Cookes Pianos, Norwich.

The organ is a gift from Peter Dixon, a member of the congregation, in memory of Michael Kirwan.

The English specification of the organ (which additionally includes Baroque, Romantic and Symphonic voicing) is:


Sub Bass




Double Diapason




Geigen Diapason



Open Wood


Open Diapason I


Chimney Flute


Open Metal


Open Diapason II


Echo Gamba




Claribel Flute


Voix Celeste




Stopped Diapason


Geigen Principal


Bass Flute




Wald Flute


Choral Bass


Harmonic Flute




















Contra Fagotto




















Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal



Swell to Great





From Fort Worth, Texas to Walsingham UK.

To complete the story below here's the photo of Fr Andrew presenting the photographs to the Dean of The Cathedral of St Vincent, Bedford, Texas, The Very Revd Ryan Reed and The Revd Kerwin Wade, Cathedral Deacon.

From Walsingham to Fort Worth, Texas.

On Sunday 24th January I will be preaching in the Episcopal Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas. The Bishop of Fort Worth, The Right Revd. Jack Iker SSC, spent part of his recent sabbatical in Walsingham and celebrated and preached at the Parish Mass last July.

The dedication of the Cathedral in Fort Worth is S. Vincent of Saragossa, who was martyred in the year 304. In my research for preaching at the Cathedral's Patronal Festival I have discovered that Fr Hope Patten had a great devotion to S. Vincent the Martyr and founded a Guild of S. Vincent, based here at S. Mary's.

For some years the Guild were custodians of the Relics of S. Vincent, which are now housed in the elaborate feretory between the Holy Well and the Altar of the Annunciation in the Shrine Church. The Relics consist of arm bone and an ampulla or flask containing the martyr's blood and were once regularly venerated as part of the weekend pilgrimage programme.

Below are images of the feretory and relics of S. Vincent, which I will be presenting to Fort Worth Cathedral during my stay. I am grateful to Graham Howard for undertaking this project.

Fr Andrew



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