Worksop Priory was significantly altered in the 1970's and the crossing lifted to include a new spire and lantern suspended above the new altar. The organ and choir stalls were relocated to the East end behind the altar and the place was given a thorough clean up. The next stage in the development is to renovate the ancient shrine of Our Lady in the Priory gatehouse - for many years an important place to stop off on the way to Walsingham on pilgrimage. Now, sadly, it is not in a state to see, but plans which i felt were very exciting are afoot to begin the works. With the proximity of Egmanton I wonder if a fledgling pilgrimage centre is not forming itself.
The Chapel of Christ the King has a crucifix the type of which I have long admired. It is always reassuring to see stone altars, it removes the temptation to pull them forward.
The main shrine of Our Lady has two candlesticks by the side which I suspect were the original pavement candlesticks of the old high altar. I wonder if there are any pictures we can see of the previous sanctuary arrangement for the sake of interest?
And what a very grand and imposing nave the Priory has. I particularly like the placement of the font in the centre of the nave, even though it is contrary to the ancient place for them, by the Galilee gate.
This, for me, is the gem of the Priory, the beautiful Lady Chapel. The aumbry is to the left of the picture behind the lamp. We had originally hoped to have Benediction here, but we proved too numerous, which is a good thing, I suppose.
About seventy of us eventually mustered for benediction. We sang 'Jerusalem the Golden' before Fr Philip Corbett, the Curate, gave a short talk about the Priory, its history, current times and future plans, before we prepared for Benediction. When the Blessed Sacrament was exposed we sang 'Alleluia, sing to Jesus' before singing the Litany of Loreto. The Tantum Ergo followed and the collect was sung in Latin before Benediction was given. After the Divine Praises we sang 'In our day of Thanksgiving' as we processed out, which was thought to be a very suitable hymn for the end of a pilgrimage to these two ancient places.
We thought that it was a good thing to have three friends who are also ideally suited, in as close a way as it is possible now, to the roles we took during Benediction. Fr John Livesley celebrated, he was ordained Priest last year, Fr Philip Corbett was Deacon, which he was ordained to last year (I look forward very much to a return to Worksop in July for his first Mass) and I was sub-deacon, as hope and trust to be ordained Deacon next month. Next month, goodness me, I am still looking at my Ember Cards, thinking what a nice day out it will be, that it is my name on the card has not really sunk in yet. Anyway, we also thought that it would be good to have the three of us not only for the reason above, but also because we are all relatively young, and about the same age.
We whisk in fairly quickly, surprised at the length of half the nave and the shortness of the hymn. I have always preferred brisk processions to the languorous self important crawl of some.
Worksop Priory from the outside. A fine, imposing place just a few minutes walk from the centre of town.