Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

Norwich celebrates anniversary of Julian’s book 

Josiah and Jo Lee English are offering a warm, flavoursome and ecological welcome to visitors exploring the writings of Norwich’s most famous mystic on the 650th anniversary of her book. 

“People from across the world will be drawn to Norwich this year,” said Josiah English, Resident Steward at All Hallows Guest House, which is next to the Julian Shrine. “They will share in celebrating and learning from a woman of the fourteenth century about whom we know next to nothing. Why? Because her Revelations of Divine Love, the first known book written by a woman in English, has become a spiritual classic known and loved by millions and a guide to many in the way of faith, hope and love.”


This year, Norwich celebrates the 650th anniversary of the remarkable ‘Shewings’ of Lady Julian, 16 revelations of the love of God given to her in May of 1373. Tucked away down an alley off King Street sits one of Norwich’s smallest but most historically important churches: St Julian’s, containing the site of the cell and former home of Julian of Norwich.


From the outside, St Julian’s is rather unassuming: bombed during WWII, the squat round tower on the west end was never rebuilt to its former height, and surrounded as it is by post-war redevelopment, the church is almost invisible until standing in front of it. 


But on closer inspection, the Shrine site contains treasures far beyond its humble exterior. Inside the church lies the heart of the campus: the Julian cell, a place of peace for visitors of all faiths and none, within whose walls countless people have sat and prayed, pondering what life must have been like for Lady Julian, entombed within the small room for decades, living a life of self-imposed lockdown with only minimal interaction with the outside world, committing herself wholly to a life of prayer and service to God.


Beyond the Cell is the churchyard, hidden by a brick wall like a secret garden, a green oasis in what is otherwise a heavily built-up area, providing sanctuary to locals and visitors alike. In spring and summer, a Saturday community garden project brings together enthusiastic volunteers for ‘green therapy’, with the aims of building community and improving the garden for all comers.


Adjoining the garden is the Julian Centre and All Hallows Guesthouse, both equally unassuming buildings clad as they are in mid-century beige brick, both awaiting updated signage. Following a major renovation project over the last two years, however, both the Centre and the Guesthouse have been given a new lease of life and are now formally incorporated into the Julian Shrine as integral members, under the supervision of the newly formed Julian of Norwich Partnership.



Most visible from Rouen Rd, just downhill from the NHS walk-in centre, All Hallows House – a former convent – has reopened as the Shrine guesthouse, offering simple but comfortable accommodation to Julian pilgrims and Norwich visitors alike. 


“Central to the Julian Shrine’s ministry of hospitality,” said Josiah, “All Hallows offers more than just bed and breakfast; as well as eight comfortable bedrooms, there is a state-of-the-art kitchen available to guests for self-catering; a stunning sitting room with log fire and welcoming atmosphere; access to the Julian of Norwich Reference Library with space to study; and a beautiful House Chapel, used for services in the week and reserved for quiet reflection. Beyond the house there is a kitchen garden, and private access to the churchyard, both of which attract a wide variety of birds and wildlife.”


Behind the scenes of this renewed venture are the inhabitants of All Hallows: Josiah and Jo Lee English, who arrived in Norwich from Birmingham in 2022 when Josiah was appointed Resident Steward at All Hallows. Josiah and Jo Lee have firmly put their stamp on All Hallows, bringing an emphasis on care for the environment and ethical responsibilities to all they do, whether in the choices made for house furnishings, careful sourcing of breakfast ingredients, or eco-friendly cleaning and laundry products.


This young couple (“though not as young as they look!” comments Josiah) have a heart for hospitality and community and can often be found on winter evenings sharing stories with guests around the fire or stopping for a cup of tea to listen or chat. Of course, they aren’t alone at All Hallows Guesthouse: they share the space with Eilonwy, the Pembrokeshire Corgi puppy who steals the hearts of friends and strangers alike.


The guesthouse, billed as a unique urban retreat, aims to offer a place of peace and escape to visitors, despite its location near the centre of the thriving city of Norwich. 


“If you have never been to the Julian Shrine,” said Josiah, “this is the year to come: to celebrate 650 years of Julian’s Revelations there is a full calendar of events in which to participate, and for anyone interested we would love to host you at All Hallows, so do get in touch.” More information can be found at allhallowsnorwich.co.uk, or by emailing [email protected]

Pictured above are Josiah and Jo Lee English. Centre are the door of the Julian cell, and a bedroom at All Hallows. Below is the refurbished kitchen.






Eldred Willey, 22/03/2023

Read the full article here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *