Whether you call this holy place Old Saint BedeCCM Chapel, or by its consecrated name, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, your presence with us here to celebrate and commemorate is truly gratifying.  Since the 1570s, the Catholic and Apostolic tradition has been carried out in this area.  The commitment by our founding pastor to establish a shrine in the U.S. after a pilgrimage to Walsingham, England in the 1930s has been largely realized.  The church structure has stood for nine decades and has been recognized as a national shrine since 1942.  That represents a blessing, but also a challenge.  The reason for this communication is that we need to Restore the Holy House.

Our challenge is that the Holy House is in need of a significant interior renovation. Consider the following:
  • Major portions of the interior have reached the end of their intended lifespan
  • Contributions to the building and maintenance fund are not adequate to cover basic operations, much less capital improvements
  • Since the completion of the Ironbound Church in 2003, Saint Bede has continued to perform regular maintenance along with infrastructure upgrades on an as-needed basis with no capital campaign
  • No major capital requests have been made of the parishioners attending the Shrine for more than 15 years for the maintenance of the Shrine
  • Since 2013, Saint Bede has provided $500,000 in maintenance and support to the Shrine in excess of donations to the Shrine maintenance and building fund
  • As a National Shrine and a place of worship for local Catholics, students, alumni, and visitors, we need to invest in capital improvements or the facility will close

What would we be investing in?
  • Modernize and bring into ADA compliance with the addition of two accessible restrooms and access to the sanctuary
  • Interior renovation—floors, ceilings, lighting, infrastructure—HVAC, plumbing, electrical service, insulation
  • Liturgical and historic updates including tabernacle relocation, altar configuration and restoration, flow and accessibility, the Walsingham/Holy House story, and the connection to Williamsburg and the College of William & Mary
  • Application for Historic Designation to potentially offset some cost
The Shrine renovation campaign, Restore the Holy House, officially kicked off on Sunday, January 27, 2019. You can see the Case Statement , Letter to Shrine Devotees , and the current design plan (below) and follow progress on the campaign.
Most of all, you can join your prayers to others through our special prayer to Our Lady of Walsingham for the success of this campaign:

Prayer to Our Lady of Walsingham
Mother of the Incarnation, with great joy we call you blessed.  God the Father chose you before the creation of the world. You believed in His love and obeyed His word.  To you we entrust the Church, which invokes you as Mother.  We ask your intercession to guide us in our work to Restore this Holy House.  May the work of our hands and the prayers in our hearts enable all to meet Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.  Amen. 
Adapted from An Act of Entrustment to Mary, Saint Pope John Paul II
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