A message from Father John

Apart from wishing to keep in touch with you during this stressful time, I thought it important also to remind everyone that tomorrow has been designated as the day on which England is to be rededicated as “The Dowry of Mary”.

Some while ago Bishop Mark reminded the clergy of the Diocese about this, but of course plans have since been affected by the present Covid-19 crisis. Here is a slightly edited version of what Bishop Mark wrote to us; please note that this was written before the current crisis began:

"England has been known as the ‘Dowry of Mary’ for up to 1,000 years, going back to the time of St Edward the Confessor (1042-1066), in whose reign the replica of the Holy House of Nazareth was built. On the Feast of Corpus Christi, 1381, King Richard II dedicated England to Mary as ‘her dowry.’ He went on pilgrimage to Walsingham two years later. So, for 1,000 years, Walsingham has been the great shrine of prayer and pilgrimage for the people of this country in honour of Our Lady.

On 29 March 2020, England will be rededicated as the ‘Dowry of Mary.’ I will be celebrating Mass in the Cathedral that day and making the rededication at the end of Mass. This will happen in other Catholic Cathedrals across the country and in Walsingham, and parishes are invited to participate, too, by making the rededication at the end of the main Mass, that morning. The following link gives more details of how to participate in the rededication, both as a parish and personally. https://www.behold2020.com/take-part

The Angelus is a most suitable prayer to prepare us, recalling, as it does, some essential moments in the History of Salvation, reminding us of Mary’s ‘yes’ to the Angel Gabriel, which undid Eve’s ‘no’ in the Garden of Eden. We profess our faith in ‘The Word, who was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us,’ and in his Death and Resurrection, the eternal destiny to which each of us is called in Christ.

Individuals can make their own personal rededication, at home, or wherever they are, by praying the Angelus. I hope that as we each rededicate ourselves to Our Lady, these may indeed be days of rich blessing for us all.”

Here is a link to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, where you will find more information about the rededication, along with prayers and resources:


I hope and trust this will be of interest to you and encourage you to take part if you can. At this time, more than ever, we are much in need of the powerful intercession and protection of Our Lady.

Some of you may have watched the Holy Father’s Urbi et Orbi Blessing from St Peter’s in Rome yesterday evening.

I am attaching to this email the full text of his address, which is well worth reading and pondering

We may not be able to meet together physically, but spiritually we are united in prayer and for me that feels almost tangible - I hope it does for you too.

Also, a parishioner has told me about this short video by Bishop Robert Barron, which is very well worth watching:


Hoping that you are all safe and well, and wishing you every blessing in these difficult and testing days.

With my love and prayers,

Fr John.

Please note:

A message from Bishop Mark

Here is a video of Bishop Mark speaking to us.


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