Ipswich shrine with links to Italian coast will be re-dedicated at church

St Mary's shrine

The shrine in St Mary at the Elms. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A special church service will be held in Ipswich later this month to re-dedicate the town's best-known shrine and its link to a seaside town on the Italian coast.

The Guild of Our Lady of Grace at Ipswich is the custodian of a shrine at St Mary at the Elms church in the town – which is a replica of a shrine that was taken to the town of Nettuno, near Anzio, by English sailors during the Reformation.

That statue has engravings on the back which suggests it could have come from Ipswich – and its presence has prompted several groups from Ipswich to make a pilgrimage to Nettuno.

In 2000 a replica of the statue was installed in the Ipswich church and now the Guild set up to promote it is to be re-dedicated at a special service at the church on Saturday, March 26 at 11am.

This will be led by the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and will be attended by the Catholic Bishop of East Anglia and representatives from the Orthodox church and an Imam as Mary is also revered in the Muslim faith.