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New job for Walsingham father

PUBLISHED: 14:25 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:19 07 July 2010

The man who has led a major £2m project to improve facilities at the Anglican Shrine in Walsingham is leaving to take up a new job, it has been revealed.

The man who has led a major £2m project to improve facilities at the Anglican Shrine in Walsingham is leaving to take up a new job, it has been revealed.

Father Philip North, priest Administrator of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady, will move from Norfolk in the autumn to be the next team rector of the Old St Pancras Team in the Diocese of London.

Staff at the Shrine and his new parishioners in London were told the news on Sunday.

During his time at the Anglican Shrine, Father North has built strongly on the work of his predecessors by leading the recent Walsingham Appeal raising more than £2m towards enhancing the visitor and pilgrim ministry.

He also oversaw the complete redesign of the Shrine's gardens.

Father North has also played a big part in working with young people and one of his final engagements at the Shrine will be to help lead the 2008 Youth pilgrimage.

Canon Martin Warner, master of the Guardians, paid tribute to the energy, commitment and leadership of Father North.

“It is great news for the church in Camden that Father Philip is to be the next team rector of the Old St Pancras Team. Over the past six years he has brought outstanding gifts and achievements to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, particularly in work with young people and families, and in the renewal of mission and Catholic evangelism.

“The successful £2m appeal that Father North spearheaded for a visitor centre and improved accommodation will be among the most obvious examples of his legacy in Walsingham. The Guardians of the Shrine and countless pilgrims have greatly valued his ministry at the Shrine nationally, and assure him of their gratitude, prayers and best wishes for this new chapter in his priestly life”.

After studying for the priesthood at St Stephen's House, Oxford, Father North was ordained into the Diocese of Durham in 1992 where he spent all his ministry before moving to Norfolk. His move to London will see him taking a wealth of experience back into an important parish context on the edge of central London.

Father North said: “I have had an amazing six years and it has been a huge pleasure to work with pilgrims and with the local community in developing Walsingham as a place of healing and prayer. With the Milner Wing all but complete this is as good a time as any to move on and I am relishing the challenges of a large, inner urban parish.”

Canon Warner said that the future was an exciting one for the Anglican Shrine at Walsingham: “We will ensure that there will be adequate cover over the autumn at the Shrine until a suitable successor can be appointed and welcomed. In the meantime Father North continues as before and we will be saying farewell to him in an appropriate way.”

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