The unveiling of the Margery Kempe sculpture
3 February 2023
At 3pm on Saturday 4 February 2023 an Evening Prayer service will take place at King’s Lynn Minister commemorating the 650th anniversary of the birth of Margery Kempe.
This service will feature the unveiling of a new sculpture of Margery Kempe, created by the artist Rosemary Goodenough. The artwork will be unveiled by Lord Dannatt and the Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich will be the preacher at the service.
Margery Kempe is King’s Lynn’s most famous daughter, an early 15th-century Christian mystic, pilgrim, writer (she wrote the first autobiography in the English language) and congregation member at the Minster.
She was a larger-than-life character and at times courted controversy. Yet she was a powerful witness to the Gospel and also in some senses ahead of her time. She has become increasingly well-known after her autobiography The Book of Margery Kempe was discovered in a manor house in Derbyshire in the early 1930s.
She has since gained a large international reputation, especially in the academic field of medieval studies. She has a considerable following among various Margery Kempe groups on Twitter. In 2020 a sculpture of her was unveiled in the town of Oroso in northern Spain, in tribute to her accomplishments as a pilgrim.
The Revd Canon Mark Dimond said: “I hope this new sculpture will provide a focal point for Margery Kempe in her hometown. With some 1,200 visitors passing through the Minster each week in the summer months, the sculpture will add to the visitor experience as well as provide an interesting stop-off for pilgrims.”