A Post Christian Pilgrim Destination
It was a long overdue visit for this Norfolk Pilgrim. Seeing a re-creation of the informal shrine - with flowers, candles and messages - outside Kensington Palace, on the 20th Anniversary of Princess Diana's death reminded me. to make the journey. In the 20 years that separate us from the events of that autumn, informal shrines have become the norm. The last I had visited was beneath the fire blackened Grenfell Tower at the other end of the Kensington.
This week I finally got round to visiting Kensington Gardens. The Google Map shows the relative positions of the palace, the Memorial Playground and Memorial Fountain. Seen as a whole, it could be one big Princess Diana Pilgrimage destination. Not the only one, of course, her grave is on an island at the Althorp Estate is another.
My visit to the Memorial Fountain gave me most to think about. Like other pilgrim destinations, the fountain is :-
1) Elemental - made from Cornish granite, with water splashes borne by the wind, beneath a sun blessed sky and sited beside the still waters of the Serpentine; and
2) Liminal - Water bubbles up from the depths of the earth and three 3 bridges allow access to the centre of the circular sculpture. In addition, the fountain is positioned close at the foot of the bridge over the Serpentine.
As at shrines of all sorts, this one dedicated to Isis, you are asked for your support with an implied offer to answer prayer! At the foot of the image is a slot into which you are invited to make an offering, "Make a donation, make a wish."