This is a day to celebrate St. Mary and of how her life as our patron is in some weaved with our life as the body of her son in this holy place.
And this is a holy place, many of you have told of how within these walls you feel enfolded in love, the ‘Whitkirk Blanket’ is how some describe it.
Perhaps that feeling is something about the prayers of the faithful seeping into the walls over the years and creating a place where the veil between heaven and earth, however crazy it might sound, seems that little bit thinner.
Holy Places like this are special and thinking about Mary as we are today another special place came to mind – The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
If you’ve ever been, as I know some of you have, you’ll know something of the story, of how Lady Richeldis saw a vision of the house where Mary was invited to become Christ’s mother. That vision was made real in a small building, the Holy House which became the centre of the Shrine.
In one way the Anglo-Catholicism and Marian devotion of Walsingham is all a bit weird and I’d always say don’t take some of it too seriously. Yet in another and I wouldn’t want to be precise about what, there is something special about the place, little miracles happen there, once tired faith is rejuvenated and renewed.
It seems a strange coincidence but a spring of water, a symbol of new life, was discovered just by the holy house. So for many Walsingham, where Mary is the focus of thought and prayer is a place where the veil seems thin.