Page 10, 20th September 1985

20th September 1985
Page 10
Page 10, 20th September 1985 — Goodbye Piccadilly

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Goodbye Piccadilly

THESE LINES, by Olga Zatzin, appeared in an early wartime edition of that great little magazine, the historic but now largely forgotten monthly called Lilliput.

In an extremely entertaining commemorative volume called Lilliput Goes to War, (published by Hutchinson), there is a nostalgic collection of the jokes — mixed with serious but unheeded (pre-war) warnings about Adolf Hitler — articles, photographs, cartoons and the many other features that made this periodical such a universal favourite.

One of its well known features was its photographic "doubles" presenting on opposite pages similar looking pictures, but ones which depicted very different aspects of life. Among the most poignant, perhaps, are those which symbolised peace and war.

Meanwhile, Eros, the statue dedicated to the seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, with its arrow pointing to the Avenue called after him, seems to have been missing from Piccadilly Circus for an age. Fortunately, however, it will be back in its usual place next spring.

Last week I mentioned the service on October 1 at Westminster Abbey, but unfortunately lacked space to say enough about the man himself, Lord Shaftesbury, the centenary of whose death will be commemorated on that day.

Clean sweep

Shaftesbury lived from 1810 to 1885. He freed the children of this country from virtual slavery in factories, mills and coal mines. He humanised the treatment of lunatics, he stopped children cleaning chimneys with their own bodies. He led the Ragged School Union movement which rescued, educated, and civilised thousands upon thousands of poor and destitute children of the slums.

His concerns included the initial plans for emigration, apprenticeships, trainingships and industrial schools. He was not only an astute politician, and social reformer, he was a leading evangelical Christian.

No royalty or senior parliamentarians attended his funeral. The former were at Balmoral and the latter had more important appointments. But the Abbey was packed with ordinary people: the people he had helped in his long lifetime. His coffin was carried not by six peers, but by six ordinary people.

So, in 1985, there will be no Royalty and no leading

politicians, but The Abbey will be filled by ordinary people and Lord Shaftesbury, Countess Mountbatten of Burma and others who represent "The Shaftesbury Society" "Shaftesbury Homes and 'Arethusaw and many other organisations which carry on the work in which The Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury was interested in the earlier days.

The service will be conducted by The Dean of Westminster and The Archbishop of Canterbury will preach.

Others involved will be children representing the two societies which bear Lord Shaftesbury's name. The wreaths will be placed at the foot of Lord Shaftesbury's statue just inside The West Door, by Lord Shaftesbury, (representing his family), Countess Mountbatten (representing the two "Shaftesbury" organisations) and by a handicapped resident of one of the Shaftesbury Society's hostels.

Those wishing to attend so memorable an occasion should contact the Shaftesbury Society, Shaftesbury House, 2a Amity Grove, Raynes Park, London SW20 OLJ. Tel: 01-946 6635.

One for the road

AS DAVID SOX points out in his recently published and most absorbing book, Relics and Shrines, (Allen & Unwin), "Alone of the great medieval English shrines, that of Walsingham has been restored to a position of regular pilgrimage."

There are both Anglidan and Catholic shrines there, the latter being at the Slipper Chapel near Walsingham, which in 1934 became the "Roman Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady." The former is at the Shrine Church built in 1931 near the site of the original replica of the holy House of Nazareth as built in the eleventh century by Richeldi de Favarques after her visionary inspiration from Our Lady. A new Holy House was constructed according to the measurements of the original.

The first post-war pilgrimage to Walsingham was in 1897. Many others followed, both Anglican and Catholic. In 1980, Dr Runcie led a group of 10,000, and some 250,000 pilgrims come annually to the Anglican and Catholic shrines.

One of the most intrepid and regular groups is that led by Mgr Anthony Stark, Master of the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom. Earlier this month he set out with his unique "confraternity of the road" for his twentieth

walk. But for one of his companions, Mr, Leonard Neal, this is his thirty third walk to Walsingham. Congratulations to the energetic Mgr Stark and his "merry men"!

Needless to say the atmosphere these days • at Walsingham is marked by an ecumenical spirit not always evident in the early days of the Shrines' restoration. Colin Stephenson, in his book Walsingham Way, describes how, many years ago, when the Slipper Chapel was transferred to the "Roman Catholic" diocese of Northampton (it is now of course in the diocese of East Anglia) the caretaker refused to let some Anglican pilgrims enter and roundly told them what he thought of "protestants."

Even nowadays, writes David Sox, "Visitors are still perplexed by the two shrines, and markers of 'Shrine OLW,' decorated with the papal arms give an impression that the Slipper Chapel is the 'authentic' one, but these days Walsingham witnesses ecumenical pilgrimages, and the general tone is a far cry from initial ill feelings."

Indeed "England's Nazareth" is an inspiring and uniting phenomenon showing that the spirit of pilgrimage is far from dead among Catholics and Anglicans in England.

Modern-day Moses

THE CENTENARY of the birth of Fr Joseph Kentenich, founder of the international Schoenstatt Movement for religious renewal has just been celebrated with a week of events in Schoenstatt near Cohlenz on the River Rhine.

Among the 8,000 pilgrims from 35 countries was a group of twelve from Wexford (the only place in Ireland which has a Schoenstatt shrine).

Fr Kentenich, the founder of the Movement, was born at Gymnich near Cologne, Germany, on November 18, 1885. When he was only nine years old he consecrated himself to the Mother of God.

This meant so much to him that he later confessed repeatedly: 'I owe everything I am and whatever has come into existence in Schoenstatt to Our Lady.'

In 1910 he was ordained to the priesthood. In 1912 he was called to Schoenstatt as the spiritual director of the Pallotine Minor Seminary. Shortly afterwards he entered into a covenant of love with Our 1.ady, asking her to make Schoenstatt a place of grace. it was to this place and into this covenant of love that he led all his followers.

He was convinced that he was called to form men and women according to the example of Mary. These were the people who would be able to build a new Christian social order in a new epoch. He became the father and founder of an international movement for priests and laity.

From 1941 to 1945 he was in the concentration camp at Dachau and was exiled in America from 1949 to 1965. He died on September 15, 1968, immediately after he had celebrated Mass in the Adoration Church at Schoenstatt. Many thousands of pilgrims visit his tomb.

Today there are close to 100 Schoenstatt shrines in Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Australia, around which the life of the national and diocesan Schoenstatt families unfold. In all of them the picture of the "Mother Thrice Admirable" is venerated.

This picture has become a distinctive sign of the Movement.

Last week, Sister Stephanie Clifford, of St Joseph Centre in the Westminster Pastoral Office for the Handicapped, became the first recipient of the Ravenswood International Foundation award.

Sr Clifford received a £1000 Leslie Lavy award for her project entitled "Growth of Faith for the Mentally Handicapped". The aim of her project is to give menially handicapped people the opportunity to develop their spiritual lives.

Sr Clifford, originally from Chicago, has written four books on the mentally handicapped and lectured in this country and in Ireland on the subject of religious education for the mentally handicapped.

Still on call

GOODNEWS: "Christianline", the new-everymorning 24 hour Christian message service, has not disappeared, as was once feared, but it has changed its number to 01-767 8431.

Though no longer available as a BT Guideline service, Christianline, with its new eightline Storecall equipment at Wandsworth, will be giving the same service to the near-250,000 callers a year it has received.

It started in April last year and many famous voices have been heard in its messages.

The associated follow-up telephone number for those who wanted further help clearly showed the need that was being met by the round-the-clock availability of a personal message of hope, reconciliation and encouragement.

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