Anglican Catholic Church

Veneration of Relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux

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The Casket containing the Relics

The Casket containing the Relics


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Veneration of the relics

Veneration of the relics


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The Statue in the Marquee in the grounds

The Statue in the Marquee in the grounds


The Very Revd Raymond Thompson, Dean of the South, writes:

I went to Aylesford Priory, Nr Maidstone, this afternoon (Sunday 11th Oct). It was extremely busy, but not as bad as yesterday when there were apparently 8,000 there at one point and the traffic was tailed back onto the M20. It was a bit of a slow trek round the Rosary Way to go into the relic chapel, but well worth the queuing. The atmosphere was unbelievably powerful in the chapel, and although people were constantly filing past and touching the glass case there was a feeling of total reverence and I spent a long time in there as there was plenty of space to stand around. It was a feeling I had not experienced before. I felt overwhelmed and very humbled by it.

My devotions came to an end when I was approached by a group of children to bless statues, rosaries, 'bad legs' and themselves. Others saw this and I was then besieged by a number of adults for the same thing, and when I left the chapel I had people come up to me for a blessing with rosaries and statues. I thought I would escape to the Cloister Chapel for some quiet prayer, but on the way a monk stopped me to come and bless holy water. The large tank that supplies the tap at the beginning of the Rosary Way had run dry and he wanted to fill it up and have it blessed. I told him I wasn't an Roman Catholic priest but didn't have any doubts about the efficacy of what I did. He wasn't bothered about that, so I duly blessed a tank full of holy water, only to find someone patiently waiting for me to finish so I could bless his rosary.

I eventually made it back to the car! I never did get as far as the Cloister Chapel! A satisfying kind of day. As I said to the folks in my parish, it was an oasis of a green Sunday for we kept S. Francis, our Co-Patron, last Sunday, with the Bishop's visit for our Patronal Festival yesterday, S. Luke next week, Christ the King the week after, All Saints the week after that (with the Churchyard ceremonies on that day too), and Remembrance Sunday to follow.