The East end and High Altar
A reminder that this Saturday 27th September the impressive church of St Walburge just up the road from me in Preston is to be opened as a shrine church administered by the Institute of Christ the King in the Diocese of Lancaster. It will be a church dedicated the celebration of the Sacraments in the Usus Antiquior and will act as a centre for Eucharistic Devotion.
Solemn High Mass at 12 noon will be celebrated by Mgr Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute, with Pontifical assistance of the Right Rev. Michael Campbell, Bishop of Lancaster.
Gregorian chant by the Seminarians of the Institute of Christ the King
Mass will be followed by a Reception in the hall next to the church to which all are welcome.
An old photograph showing part of the stunning hammer beam roof, supporting life-sized carving of the saints. Designed by Joseph Hansom, it was opened in 1854 and extended in 1873. St Walburge's is dedicated to Saint Walpurga, an English saint, born 710 AD., daughter of St. Richard, a Saxon King. With her two brothers St. Willibald and St. Winebald, she went to Germany as a missionary, following in the footsteps of St Boniface. She was renowned for her miraculous healing of illnesses and is hailed as the first extant female author in both England and Germany (in her Latin account of St Wilibald's journey to the Holy Land).
Of interest from the standpoint of my belonging to the Order of St Lazarus, with its leper origins, is that St Walburge's Church is situated in the Maudlands district of Preston, so called because of its association with St Mary Magdalene of which name the word "Maudlands" is a corruption. St Walburge's is located near the site of a 12th-century leprosy hospital dedicated to St Mary Magdalene, which stood nearby (on a hill outside the town boundaries) from 1293- 1538. You can guess what happened to it in 1538!