RESTORATION OF THE SHRINE

After the despoliation of the shrine and cessation of regular pilgrimages, nothing  remained of the devotion but a dim local memory. 


The present image of Our Lady crowned and with the Holy Child, was  the work of Sir Ninian Comper, and was erected as part of a major restoration in 1897. While the appearance of the original  shrine is  not known, the Comper image represents the type of figure that would have stood here in medieval times.


The restoration of the church was carried out by Comper at the wishes of the then patron of the living, Henry, Duke of Newcastle,  a leading Anglo Catholic layman, who lived at nearby Clumber Park. Soon, devotion to Our Lady of Egmanton was resumed. By 1912 the Guild of Our Lady of Egmanton, a parish society, had been formed. Among the obligations, members  promised to say for the parish, the Good Friday collect, one Our Father and one Hail Mary daily.


Individual pilgrims began to find their way to Egmanton, but it was not until Easter Monday 1929 that the first organised pilgrimage in modern times took place. The parish priest at that time was Fr. Silas Harris who did much to promote the shrine.  Most  of the pilgrims came from Leicester, but there were also groups from Leeds, Sheffield, Lincoln, and from local parishes. 


An account of the proceedings mentions the gift for the shrine of  "a fine pair of silver candlesticks in memory of the late Fr. A.H.Manning, formerly parish priest of Egmanton". Since that time, the number of organized and individual pilgrimages has increased considerably. In 1930 Fr Alfred Hope Patten, restorer of the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, came  with a group of his people and as a token of their pilgrimage, left a banner still to be seen in the shrine church. 


The service registers  contain the names of many well-known bishops and priests of the Anglo Catholic movement who came to preach or lead pilgrimages. On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee pilgrimage in 1979, the Lord Bishop of Southwell, The Rt. Revd. John Denis  Wakeling preached at the High Mass and took part in the afternoon outdoor procession of Our Lady.


Today there are pilgrimages from dioceses, Forward in Faith groups and parishes of The Society, under the patronage of S. Winifred and S. Hilda (the modern Anglo-Catholic Movement of the 21st Century).


The Society of Our Lady of Egmanton organises three pilgrimages each year, in May, September and November.