Author: Richard Brown

Radio Maria to build flagship studio at Rosary Shrine

Radio Maria to build flagship studio at Rosary Shrine

An exciting development for the Rosary Shrine: Catholic broadcaster Radio Maria will be building a flagship London studio here.

Charles Wilson, President of Radio Maria, said,

We at Radio Maria England (RME) are delighted to be developing our London base at St Dominic’s priory and the Rosary Shrine, which is often described as “Mary’s House” in London. The presence of a broadcasting studio and offices here will not only enable the promotion of RME in London and nationally but be a physical location to grow our volunteer base in this beautiful historic shrine. I think Our Lady has called us here.

Fr Lawrence Lew OP, Prior and Parish Priest of St Dominic’s Priory said that:

We believe that this partnership between Radio Maria and the Rosary Shrine will be a wonderful way to advance the hopes of the men and women who built St Dominic’s. The Rosary Shrine church exists for the preaching of the Holy Rosary, which is a special gift of Our Lady for proclaiming the Gospel of Christ and God’s saving love for all peoples.

As the Order of Preachers, we Dominicans are delighted to support and work alongside Radio Maria in our common mission of preaching the faith for the salvation of souls, bringing the light of reason and faith to bear upon the lives of our contemporaries. I have no doubt that our parishioners and pilgrims and the local community at the Rosary Shrine will be enthusiastic about this work of evangelisation, and I know that the people of London and the wider UK will also benefit greatly from Radio Maria’s programmes and activities here at the Rosary Shrine.

About Radio Maria

Radio Maria England is a 24-hour station. It is part of a worldwide network of more than 80 radio stations on all continents.  We offer a voice of hope and encouragement. Radio Maria responds to Jesus’ invitation: ‘Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature’ (Mk 16,15). We try to embrace all the charisms that the Holy Spirit is bestowing upon the local and universal Church in our time. Interaction is essential to Radio Maria. We invite our listeners to share their concerns and joys, and we reach out to those who are among the poorest and the most marginalised. Creating a family spirit, also by involving volunteers and listeners, Radio Maria accompanies every person who hungers for God on their journey of faith. ‘Where there is even just one person, there Radio Maria must also be’, said Emanuele Ferrario, former President of the World Family of Radio Maria.

Current and Future Programmes

The programme of Radio Maria is based on three pillars: prayer, catechesis and human formation. Daily we broadcast Mass and spiritual content, as well as social programmes and worldwide news.  Currently, collaborations with the Dominicans in Cambridge have included morning prayers, daily Mass and religious teaching programmes including topics on the Divine Office, saints and sacred scripture.  With this new studio at the Rosary Shrine, Radio Maria is looking forward to developing collaborations which also furthers the mission of the Rosary Shrine.

As a charity Radio Maria works with a great number of volunteers in all areas. Our volunteers assist with promotion, broadcasting, creating and presenting programmes, and praying.

A Natural Home

The new studio in London will be fittingly based at a Marian Shrine, the diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary that is situated at St Dominic’s Priory in north west London, between Camden and Hampstead. The Rosary Shrine church itself is one of the largest churches in London, encompassing side chapels and altars for every Mystery of the Rosary. When the church was built by the Dominicans in 1883, it was the first church in the world to have this arrangement, with the intention that this great and splendid church would be ‘worthy to mark the gratitude of the Catholics of the United Kingdom for the many blessings and graces received through Our Lady’.

How to Listen to Radio Maria

The full schedule and more detailed programme information can be found on our website at You can listen to Radio Maria England on our website at, on the Radio Maria World Family app for smartphones and tablets and on DAB/DAB+ radio in the Cambridge and London areas. Our broadcasts can also be heard on podcast providers such as Anchor, Spotify, Apple podcasts and other providers.

For more information please contact us at and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Rosary Shrine Newsletter July 2021

Rosary Shrine Newsletter July 2021

July 2021 Newsletter: Exciting projects and forthcoming events

 1. May Processions & Events

As Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP observed in the EWTN film about the Rosary Shrine, The Way of Beauty, our church was built for processions.

It is now a feature of the Rosary Shrine’s annual programme that candle-lit Rosary processions are held every Saturday in May and October, at 7pm. Despite the ongoing need for precautions because of Covid, we were able to have our processions this May, the month of Our Lady, praying for an end to the global pandemic.

We welcomed a Polish choir and a Filipino choir who sang motets and hymns in between each decade of the Rosary, and statues of Our Lady of the Rosary from Fatima and from the Philippines were taken in procession by the Dominican friars.Currently, these statues have been placed on a  tea trolley appropriated for use as a wheeled platform (see photo above), but we have plans to improve and renovate this so that it is more fitting and dignified, and properly suited for processions of Our Lady and St Dominic, in the coming months. As ever, your contributions to the Rosary Shrine will help us fund such projects which we undertake for the glory of God.

Flowers of the Fairest

At the end of May, our Luminous Mysteries Rosary Garden took part in the National Garden Scheme’s Open Day and raised money for various charities nominated by the NGS; many volunteers came to help sell tickets, cakes, cups of tea and welcome visitors.

We welcomed over a hundred people to the garden and the church, and the day ended with a Mass celebrated by the Director of Radio Maria England and a Rosary procession in which the Diocese’s Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelisation took part. Beautiful rays of sunlight flooded the church during the procession, and it seemed as if Our Lady was smiling upon us.

Renewed Apse

We are grateful to all our benefactors who have contributed to the restoration of our apse and High Altar.

A team of dedicated craftsmen have worked for over six months on repairing and restoring the stonework and stained glass in the apse of the church, which is dedicated to the Fifth Glorious Mystery – The Coronation of Our Lady and the Glory of all the Saints.

The High Altar with its beautiful marble, mosaics, alabaster and metalwork has also been completely cleaned and restored.


Thanks to a generous benefaction, the walls of the apse have been completely re-gilded (see adjacent photo for condition prior to restoration).

before… during… after!

High Altar Returned to Use

This work was completed shortly after Easter, and from 25 April, Masses at the beautifully cleaned and

gilded High Altar were resumed.

On Sundays both the 12 noon Solemn Mass (Ordinary Form) and the 6pm Dominican Rite Mass (Extraordinary Form) are now celebrated at the High Altar. We hope that this full and inclusive liturgical life, offering all that the Church’s rich Tradition allows, will be of service to the broad range of parishioners, pilgrims, and visitors who come to the Rosary Shrine and worship here.

Apse Windows & Stations of the Cross Restored

Before cleaning….

… and after cleaning!

Thanks to a benefaction from the ‘US Friends of the Rosary Shrine’, we have also completely restored and cleaned the 14 Stations of the Cross in the nave of the church.

These were painted by Nathaniel Westlake in 1887, and their bright colours and expressive faces can now be appreciated and seen more clearly, much to the delight of our parishioners.With your support, we hope to install lights that will subtly highlight these Stations of the Cross, and also bring some light to the aisles of the church which do not currently have any lighting.

New Chapel Lighting

The Rosary Chapels have also long suffered from poor lighting, and the carved stone sculptures of the mysteries of the Rosary were often unnoticed. A new spotlighting system, organised according to the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, was installed in May 2021.

The Rosary sculptures, which are a unique feature of this Rosary Shrine, can now be appreciated and enjoyed as an aid to prayer and greater devotion, and the new lights enhance the overall beauty of the church.

Renewed Shrines for Statues

Finally, the three wooden shrines housing the images of Our Lady of Manaoag, Our Lady of Fatima, and Our Lady of Walsingham, have been completely refurbished, as befits the Queen of Heaven.

We thank the benefactors of these and all our projects. 

3. New Project: The Lost Angels of The Rosary Altar

The Rosary Altar is the main focus of this Rosary Shrine church, and it was beautifully restored in the 1990s. However, that restoration work has yet to be completed.

Historical photos (below) reveal that the altar was surmounted by four angels playing musical instruments, and moreover, two angels hung on either side of the altar carrying two sanctuary lamps that are a sign of our prayers in the presence of Our Lady. Sadly over the course of time, these angels were removed or went missing.

Four years ago we placed two candles in blue glass lamps on the Rosary Altar as the initial step to replacing the missing sanctuary lamps. These two candles burn perpetually before the image of Our Lady of the Rosary for the intentions of the members of the ‘Friends of the Rosary Shrine’, and for all the Benefactors of the Rosary Shrine.

A Birthday Present?

2021 is a significant year of great jubilees:

  • 800th anniversary of the death of St Dominic;
  • 800th anniversary of the arrival of the Dominican friars in England;
  • 450th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto and the establishment of the feast of the Holy Rosary.

Consequently, we would like to commemorate these historic milestones by replacing the six missing angels and the two sanctuary lamps.

The angels will be hand-carved from oak, and we have found suitable sanctuary lamps to buy from Italy. The total cost of this project will be £25,000 ($35,000 US).

Could you help?

We would like to invite you to make a donation towards this project:

  • Perhaps you’d like to donate one angel in memory of a loved one?
    £3,000 each, six available  ($4,200 US)
  • Or, as a family, donate a hanging sanctuary lamp to adorn Our Lady’s altar?
  • Or alternatively, just add your own generous gift of any amount to help us achieve our goal:

Donate Now on the Rosary Shrine website

US Donors: Make Tax-Deductible Donation

If you’d like to discuss how you can contribute towards this project, please contact Fr Lawrence Lew OP.



From the very beginning, our Order and this church has relied on the generous gifts, both large and small, from a range of benefactors from around the world. We continue to seek your help in restoring and renovating Our Lady’s Rosary Shrine and especially her altar.

We are grateful for all the help we have received over the centuries, and the marble plaques in the Lady Chapel are inscribed with the names of benefactors beginning with Baroness Tasker who gave us the land on which our church and priory stands.

Some of the names on those plaques, which had merely been painted on the marble, have now faded. In the coming months, we want to put this right: a stonemason has been engaged to inscribe their names so that they can be specially remembered in our daily prayers at the Rosary Shrine.

As a mark of our gratitude, and only if you allow us, the names of those benefactors who make single gifts of over £3,000 (from January 2021) to the Rosary Shrine’s restoration works will be added to these marble plaques.

  • Qualifying Gifts: You can make a gift of £3,000 or more to the ‘missing angels’ project (see above), or to any of the projects to restore and improve our church
  • Memorial Giving. You can make ‘in memoriam’ gifts of £3,000 or more in the name of deceased loved ones: either specify the name on the online donation form, send a cheque with an accompanying note, or contact Fr Lawrence by email
  • Gift Aid. UK taxpayers can boost the value of their gift by Gift-Aiding their donations, either in the online form when they donate, or by filling in a printed declaration.



Novena of Masses in honour of St Dominic:
30 July – 7 August at 6pm (except Sun 1 Aug at 12 noon), with guest Dominican celebrants and preachers, and a daily Rosary procession with the newly-restored statue of St Dominic on the newly-refurbished processional carriage.

Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has kindly agreed to come to the Shrine on Rosary Sunday, 3 October 2021. He will celebrate the 12 noon Solemn Mass, bless and distribute roses as is our Dominican custom, and lead a Rosary procession.

Fr Lawrence Lew OP has prepared a book of Rosary reflections inspired by 20 of his photos of sacred art depicting the mysteries of the Rosary. The book is due to be published by the Catholic Truth Society, and there will be a book launch on 7 October. Details will be sent in a later newsletter.


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The Dominicans magazine – Easter edition

The Dominicans magazine – Easter edition

Read the e-edition of our latest magazine!

Owing to the current situation, we are distributing the Easter 2020 edition of our magazine electronically rather than as printed copies in our churches.

  • Reviews of Books by Frs Timothy Radcliffe and Bruno Cadoré
  • Reburial of a Medieval Friar
  • History of the Ditchling Arts & Crafts Community
  • Remembering Fr David Sanders
  • Br Joseph Bailham’s unexpected year in Bologna
  • Links for further reading, videos, and more…


Video of Scott Hahn is now online

Video of Scott Hahn is now online

Our friends at EWTN have created this excellent video of Scott Hahn’s powerful talk on Our Lady, “Hail, Holy Queen” – the inaugural Rosary Shrine Lecture 2018.

Enjoy the video, and please share widely!

Interested in coming to future events at the Rosary Shrine? 

Forthcoming Talks

14 April 2018 (7:30pm) – Fr Paul Murray OP

Paradise on Earth: Early Irish Nature Poetry and the Canticle of Saint Francis


28 April 2018 (11–4pm) – Conference marking the 150th Anniversary of Fr Vincent McNabb OP

Talks on the writings and thought of Vincent McNabb by Fr Aidan Nichols OP; Fr Richard Ounsworth OP; Fr Oliver Keenan OP; & Hugh Walters.

£10.00 including lunch – Pre-registration is essential. Please book with:


29 May 2018 (7:30pm) – Fr Robert Ombres OP

David Jones: The Lady of the Pool


  • Unless otherwise stated, the talks above are free of charge, and will take place in the parish hall.




Fr Cassian Derbes OP from the Dominican University (the ‘Angelicum’) in Rome will preach the retreat:

Mon 26 – Wed 28 March: after 10am & 6pm Masses daily;

29 March: after 10am Tenebræ;

30 March: after 10am Tenebræ;

31 March: after 10am Tenebræ.

All are very welcome!


Church restoration – update

Church restoration – update

Latest news on the restoration of our church

Thanks to the generosity of donors, we have been able to push ahead with the first phase of restoration works, leading up to the shrine’s inauguration on 22 October.

Fresh gilding on the chapel screens

gilding-2The newly applied gold leaf on the ironwork of the sidechapels has given a bright new look to the church, and allowed the names of the original benefactors to stand out clearly once more. It has also made much more apparent the variety of patterns that were used in the ironwork, with each chapel having its own unique decoration.



Cleaned stonework in the Assumption chapel

assumption-restoredThis chapel was in a poor condition prior to the cleaning, and the stonework and brickwork are now much brighter. Some further work remains to be done: cleaning the floor tiles and repairing broken stonework on the altar step.


The Sacristy

sacristy-restorationThe tatty old kitchen units which were long overdue for removal have been ripped out and the room stripped right back to the walls. In doing so, we discovered a rather nice little niche hidden behind one of the units, so we shall make this a feature of the restored room. We have also created a new storage space at one side of the room, so that bulkier items can be kept out of the way. The finished room will be a much more usable and pleasant space, and will be ready in time to receive the Cardinal and visiting clergy at the shrine’s inauguration on 22 October this year.

If you would like to support the restoration work, you can donate securely online.


Jubilee Pilgrimage to Italy

Jubilee Pilgrimage to Italy

From 1st to 7th July, the Dominican parishes in London and Leicester joined together for a pilgrimage to Italy.

In this 800th Jubilee Year of the Dominican Order, we visited the shrine of St Dominic in Bologna and the shrine of St Catherine in Siena.

Staying in the city of Florence we also able to visit the famous Dominican priories of Santa Maria Novella and San Marco.  San Marco is famous for its frescoes by Blessed Fra Angelico and was the home of the fifteenth-century Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola.

We were blessed with hot and sunny weather, and were able to enjoy wonderful ice cream and traditional Italian fare.

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