Cardinal Vincent Nichols has inaugurated a new shrine dedicated to the rosary at the Dominican church of Our Lady of the Rosary and St Dominic in Haverstock Hill, north London.

The establishment of the shrine, which Archbishop Nichols of Westminster called a “great joy”, coincides with the 800th anniversary of the Dominican Order.

Fr Thomas Skeats, prior and parish priest, said: “I pray that this shrine will be a place of contemplation for all of us, that in darkness we will bring the light of Christ to others, so that it may radiate from us. May this be the fruit of this shrine.”

The church has 15 altars dedicated to the mysteries of the rosary, which can be prayed as a Way of the Rosary around the church: five joyful mysteries, five sorrowful mysteries and five glorious mysteries culminating in the coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven.

The Rosary Shrine “will give a focus and a ‘home’ for the promotion of the Rosary in England,” says the church’s website. “It will also add to a growing and increasingly popular network of Catholic shrines throughout the country.” The church’s vision is “to become an important centre for promoting the Christian faith through the Holy Rosary”.

The church also houses a large replica of the Lourdes Grotto, making it a pilgrimage destination, particularly for those who might not otherwise be able to visit the shrine in France.

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