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The Lost Shrine of Liskeard, by Claire Riche

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 Contents - Sep 2002AD2000 September 2002 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: AD2000's Fighting Fund launched - Michael Gilchrist
Is the self-destruction of Anglicanism to continue? - Nigel Zimmerman
News: The Church Around the World - AD2000
Vocations: Corpus Christi Seminary enrolments bounce back - Michael Gilchrist
Promoting Catholic vocations in the Melbourne Archdiocese - Joanne Grainger
CHURCH ATTENDANCE: The family, feminism and the declining role of fatherhood - Richard Egan
The 1960s 'cultural revolution': from self-sacrifice to self-fulfillment - Fr Gregory Jordan
The strange case of Father Damien and Robert Louis Stevenson - Fr F.E. Burns PE
Australian Rosary CD wins international recognition - Colleen McGuiness-Howard
John Paul II and World Youth Day in Toronto: an Anglican perspective - David Warren
Letters: Church design (letter) - Greg Briscoe-Hough
Letters: Renovations (letter)
Letters: Abortion (letter) - Bob Denahy
Letters: Seminaries (letter) - Andrew Sholl
Letters: Media complaints (letter) - Michael Daniel
Letters: Feminism dead? (letter)
Letters: Teaching the faith (letter) - Kevin McBride
Letters: Zero tolerance (letter) - J. Dekker
Letters: Priestly 'uniform' (letter) - Philip Robinson
Letters: Horse and cart (letter) - Arthur Negus
Letters: Shakespeare (letter) - John Doherty
Letters: Vatican II (letter) - Valentine Gallagher
Books: Open Embrace: A Protestant Couple Rethinks Contraception - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: The Arians of the Fourth Century, by John Henry Newman - Peter Westmore (reviewer)
Books: The Lost Shrine of Liskeard, by Claire Riche - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Christianity for Buddhists, by Frederick Farrar - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Think Piece: Religious, Ethical and Moral Values, by Sebastian Camilleri OFM - Mark Posa (reviewer)
Marilen Studios: a Christian approach to business - Joe Padero
Music: CD specials from AD Books
Reflection: The Christian way to spiritual maturity - Fr Dennis W. Byrnes PP

by Claire Riche

(St Austin Press, 2002, 220pp. Available from PO Box 180, Sumner Park Qld 4074, (07) 3279 7415)

In recent years there has been a revival of devotion to the Virgin Mary and this revival has included renewed interest in ancient Marian shrines. This work details the attempts made to restore the medieval shrine of Our Lady of the Park at Liskeard in Cornwall to Catholic hands and make it once again a place of pilgrimage.

Historical records indicate that this shrine, which included a holy well, was a centre of Marian devotion and pilgrimage from at least the 14th century and was destroyed during the upheavals of the Reformation. This rather loquacious account focuses on the work of Dr Margaret (Peggy) Pollard, a convert to Catholicism, Cornish bard and expert on Cornish folklore, who devoted enormous energy from the 1950s, after she discovered the remains of the shrine in 1955 - believing she had received a call from the Virgin Mary to make the shrine a place of pilgrimage once more - until her death in 1996.

Although the property is still in private hands, individuals and pilgrimage groups are allowed access to the site. Many of these pilgrimages have been ecumenical, with Anglican and Methodist involvement. The author indicates that the renewed interest in the shrine is part of a growth in interest in Cornish language and folklore that also includes the translating of the text of the Mass into Cornish.

While The Lost Shrine of Liskeard contains much interesting information, particularly on Cornish culture and pre-Reformation Catholicism, the work's considerable length, including details of somewhat peripheral interest, tends to detract from its overall appeal.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 15 No 8 (September 2002), p. 17

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