Friends of Norwich's
world-famous mystic, Lady Julian,
are hoping for a cash boost as donations start flooding in to help raise her profile and reinforce her importance as a city attraction.
Julian, the 14th century mystic who made Norwich her home, is already an attraction for pilgrims from all over the world.
She is credited with being the first woman to write a book in English. A contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer
, she wrote Revelations of Divine Love at the same time as he created The Canterbury Tales.
Her book describes the 16 visions of God's love which she received when she was ill in 1373.
She arrived in Norwich, it is believed, after losing her family to the plague and became a hermit, taking the name of the church of St Julian, off Rouen Road.
The centre, run by the Friends of Julian of Norwich, has launched an appeal to raise £100,000 to maintain the chapel and the visitors' centre and to promote St Julian, her place in Christian mythology and her importance as one of Norwich's most famous figures.Felicity Maton
, secretary of the Friends of Julian said: “We have already received money from our worldwide members in places like Canada and Australia.
“People make a real effort to see Julian if they come to England, and it seems strange that most people in Norwich are unsure about what she did.
“She has a worldwide following - that's why you never know quite who is going to come through the door of the Julian Centre. Once we had an orthodox priest from Georgia, one of the old Soviet states and his friends walk in out of the blue. We want to raise money to improve the facilities, make it a bit more user-friendly and make people more aware of it.
“We are all volunteers here, we only have one full-time member of staff but we always find someone from the committee to do a talk for the children about the history of the place.”
The appeal fund has already received support from the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, the Bishop of East Anglia
, and the actress Patricia Routledge
, of Keeping Up Appearances fame, who will be present at the launch on September 15.Article from Norwich Evening News