Annabel's art installation 'The Healing Womb' had its debut in 2012. Comprising of four 5'x4' acrylic paintings of the archetypal Mother of Loss, Mother of Solitude, Mother of Healing & Mother of Compassion, the installation hangs in the sacred space of The Glastonbury Gnostic Chapel, in which women gather to share their stories in relation to child loss, childlessness, the challenges of mothering special needs children and pregnancy termination.

Annabel was inspired to create ‘The Healing Womb’ by her personal experience of mothering three children, two of whom were born with life-threatening syndromes & multiple disabilities. During the many months she lived on neonatal intensive care and paediatric surgical wards, she became aware of the depth of women’s suffering and untold stories.

The wound is the place where the light enters you
Rumi

I know what it feels like to face the fear of my child dying, to grieve for the child who I thought I would have, to feel all the conflicting emotions woven into caring for a disabled child. I also know how lonely it can feel to lock our stories away, to not want to burden others with our pain, anger and despair, to tell a different story to the world when inside we are desperate to speak, to be heard and comforted.

We invite you to come to one of our Healing Womb workshops, funded by The Glastonbury Gnostic Chapel charitable company, to be held and guided by experienced women who have journeyed deeply with child loss, childlessness, mothering special needs children and pregnancy termination, and to share your story within a compassionate circle of women.

Inside the Glastonbury Gnostic Chapel

The Santo Nino de Atocha Chapel

 

Santuario de Chimayo, New Mexico

Santo Nino is a manifestation of the Christ or Divine Child who is believed to have performed many miracles in Spain and Mexico. The original chapel was built in 1856 and has since been renovated as a Children’s Chapel.

Annabel became aware of the chapel on a buying trip for her Shop, which supports Native American artisans from the pueblos of New Mexico.

She then made a pilgrimage to the chapel on Good Friday 2015, and took her daughters in July 2015, to give thanks for the survival and healing of her three children, two of whom were born with life-threatening syndromes and multiple disabilities.

She took a pair of her disabled son’s newborn shoes as an offering to Santo Nino, and brought back the sacred water and sand – ‘tierra bendita’ – to which the many miraculous healings are attributed.

Inspired by the Santo Nino de Atocha Chapel, we invite pilgrims to bring or send us a pair of baby’s shoes and/or a sonogram/photo of their child so that we may pray for them, alive or in spirit.

 

The Story of Santo Nino de Atocha

In the 7th century, a statue of Mother Mary with a detachable Divine Child was found in a field in Atocha, Spain.

In the 13th century, the men were imprisoned by the Moors and only children were allowed to bring the prisoners food and water. The women prayed to Our Lady of Atocha for help.

The children spoke of an unknown boy carrying water and bread to the prisoners, whilst the shoes of the statue of the Divine Child became worn and dirty. He became known as Santo Nino (Holy Child) de Atocha.

A Spanish general brought the statue of Our Lady of Atocha to Plateros, Mexico. After an explosion in a mine there, the women prayed to Her to save the trapped men. The detachable statue of the Divine Child disappeared, only to reappear with its clothes and shoes torn and dirty, whilst the freed miners spoke of a child who rescued them.

Following a pilgrimage to Plateros, Severiano Medina built a chapel near El Santuario de Chimayo in New Mexico, dedicated to Santo Nino de Atocha in 1856.

Every year on Good Friday, tens of thousands of pilgrims walk to the Chapel. Inside a small room with a statue of Santo Nino, pilgrims leave pairs of children’s shoes and photographs with their prayers of gratitude or for healing.

(from an article by Richard L. Rieckenberg on www.elsantuariochimayo.us)

 

Donations

The Glastonbury Gnostic Chapel is raising funds to offer more Healing Womb workshops and to be able to expand into larger premises in order to deliver more comprehensive services to vulnerable people in need within the community. All donations are gratefully received.

Christmas Message

Watch my Christmas message to parents who have lost children (including through miscarriage or stillbirth) or who have special needs children
© Annabel Du Boulay 2019. privacy policy and terms Photos: Ali Cherkis, Au Ra, Nick Du Boulay, Jon Hall & Stefan Zabel. Website by S7

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