From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ACNS3550 Walsingham voted the UK's favourite spiritual place

From "Anglican Communion News Service" <>
Date Tue, 12 Aug 2003 03:35:23 +0100

ACNS 3550     |     ENGLAND	|     12 AUGUST 2003 

Walsingham voted the UK's favourite spiritual place

by Matthew Davies 

In a poll that attracted thousands of votes on the BBC's website and by
post, Walsingham, in North Norfolk, England, has been voted the nation's
favourite spiritual place. More than a quarter of a million Christians
travel to Walsingham each year where Richeldis, an Anglo-Saxon
noblewoman, is said to have had a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1061. The
vision inspired her to create a replica of the Holy House of the

Today, nothing exists of the House that Richeldis built but the Slipper
Chapel remained and was restored at the end of the 19th century. 

Walsingham has been a place of pilgrimage for Roman Catholics since
medieval times, when travel to Rome and Compostella was virtually
impossible. In 1931 the local Anglican vicar established a new Holy
House, which was expanded later in the decade to form the Anglican
Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. 

Christians see pilgrimage as being symbolic of their spiritual journey,
coming from God and returning to God. For many it represents the journey
of the Christian life from earth to heaven. 

The Revd Philip North, priest administrator of the Anglican Shrine,
said, "[Walsingham] is a beautiful place but, above all, it is a place
of intense prayer. Here...people can leave their pain and be assured
that God is with them through it." 

The top ten spiritual places in the BBC's poll are: 1. Walsingham; 2.
Iona, Scotland; 3. Avebury; 4. Shrine of St Alban; 5. Durham Cathedral;
6. Lindisfarne, off the coast of Northumberland; 7. Lee Abbey, Devon; 8.
St David's Cathedral, Wales; 9. St Peter's, Bradwell, Essex; 10. Twyford

Further information about the BBC's poll to find the UK 's favourite
spiritual place can be found at:

The Walsingham web site is:

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