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Grant boost for Norwich mystic's work

JulianNorwichShe is one of Norwich's most famous daughters and the first woman ever to write a book in the English language.

Now information about the life and work of Julian of Norwich is to reach a wider audience, thanks to a lottery grant.

The Friends of Julian of Norwich, which was formed to let people know about the medieval mystic and her shrine in the city, has been awarded £50,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to employ a learning project officer.

The officer will work with pupils, students and people from all walks of life to explore Julian's heritage and work and how it relates to life today.

Julian, who was born in 1342 and died around 1416, lived at the time of the Black Death and is considered to be one of the greatest English mystics.

Aged 30, and at the point of death from a severe illness, the pain suddenly left her and she had a series of intense religious visions about God's love for mankind.

Julian's visions prompted her to devote her life to God and she became an anchoress, a kind of religious hermit.

Twenty years after her visions she detailed them in two books.

The first of these was entitled Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love, published in 1393 - the first book ever written in English by a woman.

The hermitage where Julian lived, attached to one of the oldest churches in Norwich, is now a shrine that has been visited by thousands of people from around the world.

Chairman Professor Brian Thorne said: "The award of this grant not only opens up exciting possibilities for extending the educational work of the Julian Centre but also demonstrates the commitment of the Heritage Lottery Fund to ensuring that Norwich's immense architectural, spiritual and cultural heritage is fully honoured in the 21st century."

HLF regional manager Robyn Llewellyn said: "This project will help open up the history of the writings of Julian to a much wider audience, showing people how relevant it was to our understanding of modern-day life."

Advertising for a suitable candidate will appear shortly, and during the autumn the learning project officer will mount a travelling exhibition that will visit primary and secondary schools in Norwich and Norfolk.

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Network Norwich and Norfolk > News Archive > 2008 News Archive > Grant boost for Norwich mystic's work

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