The national secretary of the Walsingham Association – which exists primarily to spread devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham and encourage pilgrimage to her Shrine – has expressed his delight that the Ordinariate Coventry Mission has set up a new branch of the Association, which, until now, has not had a branch in Coventry.
The secretary, Julian Foorde, said: “I am really excited to see this new branch being formed. Coventry is the first Ordinariate group to have done this, but I am already aware of a second Ordinariate group which is planning to get a branch going later in the year. I am very keen to encourage the Ordinariate’s involvement”.
The inaugural meeting of the Coventry branch was held on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and was well attended by both Ordinariate members, who form the nucleus of the new branch, and diocesan Catholics of the deanery. Solemn Mass was followed by an informal meeting during which the group drew up a calendar of events for 2015. The next meeting will be on the Feast of Candlemas (Monday 2 February) and the plan is to meet every other month.
As well as the regular meetings, there are spiritual benefits of membership of the Walsingham Association including sharing in special Masses offered for members and their families and uniting in the daily prayers of all members throughout the year. Members also receive a certficate and prayer card, quarterly newsletters and opportunities to take part in regional and national events.
Fr Paul Burch, the priest who leads the Coventry Ordinariate Mission, said: “Walsingham is the Ordinariate’s spiritual home. Pope Benedict placed us under Our Lady of Walsingham’s protection and so it seems very appropriate that we should be active in the encouragement of devotion to her Shrine. Walsingham is bound up in the history of many Ordinariate members and it’s very important that we have a presence there, both physically and spiritually. Forming the Association is a good way to further this and it has also proved to be an excellent way of forging closer ties with local diocesan Catholics, who have enthusiastically joined in this venture”. Fr Burch said that the Coventry branch would be aiming to strike a balance in their meetings between the liturgical and the social and a chat and drinks would always be included in the schedule.
The Walsingham Association, which was established in 1933, has between 40 and 50 groups across the country. Some 1500 people belong as members of groups and there are a further 1500 or so individual members.
For further information about the Walsingham Association nationally, please visit its website by clicking HERE
For further information about the Coventry branch, please contact Fr Burch by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 024 76693752
The Coventry Mission of the Ordinariate meets on Sundays at Saint Joseph the Worker church in Coventry for Solemn Mass at 11am, preceded by the public celebration of Morning Prayer at 10.30am from the Divine Office of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham as found in the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham. All are very welcome.