AGM at St Joseph's New Malden, Surrey: Saturday
19th October 2013
Annual General meeting of the Association held on Saturday 19th October
2013 at the Church of St Joseph, Montem Road, New Malden, Surrey. A
report of the day will appear on the website shortly.
Spring Meeting, St Birinus,
Dorchester-on-Thames Saturday 13th April 2013
Spring Meeting was held at the Church of St Birinus, Bridge End, Dorchester on
Thames, on the feast of St Martin I. St Birinus was a 7th century monk
sent from Rome by Pope Honorius I to Wessex. According to tradition, the King
of the West Saxons gave him “the city of Doric” (Dorchester), where he
built a wooden cathedral, and by the 9th century the diocese extended from the
Thames to the Humber. Birinus was buried in his cathedral in 650, although his
remains were later moved to Winchester. The Catholic church of St Birinus
was built in 1849 and is Grade II* listed. Its architect was William
Wilkinson Wardell, a friend of Pugin, and who later designed the Catholic
cathedrals of Melbourne and Sydney.
exceptionally rich day, liturgically and culturally, began with Solemn Mass of
Pope St Martin I: Fr Guy Nicholls Cong. Orat. was the celebrant, assisted by
Deacon Ken MacNab, of St Birinus’ parish, and Fr David Rocks OP, of Holy
Cross Priory, Leicester. The setting of the Ordinary was the Missa
Congratulamini mihi by Francesco Guerrero, its complex counterpoint superbly
realised by the Newman Consort directed by Paul Kolb, together with Deus tuorum
militum by Victoria (sung alternatim) at the Offertory, and Tu es Petrus by
Clemens non papa at the Communion. A photograph from the Mass is shown here.
The interior of St Birinus’ combines intimacy and magnificence; the painted
rood screen is so highly decorated and beautiful that it almost has the air of
an iconostasis. Painted heraldic shields line the upper reaches of the nave
walls on both sides, and the roof of the sanctuary is richly decorated.
Deacon Ken MacNab preached on Pope St Martin I (pope from 649-653, deposed,
died 656) the last pontiff to be martyred.
lunch, we crossed the road to the former Abbey church, where Fr Jerome Bertram
(of the Oxford Oratory) guided us round. Although there is no trace of
the monastic buildings, a surprising amount survives from before the
‘Reformation’ in the church. The main, monastic, part of the church
culminates in the great east window, flanked by others on either side, the one
to the north being the famous Jesse window [see photograph]. In its combination
of stained glass and sculpture this is wholly exceptional. As well as the
main monastic nave and chancel, there is a large and spacious parish aisle,
where some original wall-painting survives over a raised platform where the
altar once stood.
reassembled in the church for Fr Jerome’s talk on “Aspects of pre-Refornation
Dorchester,” which was delivered extempore, entirely without notes, and was
at once learned and funny, peppered throughout with a nice dry wit. The
strength of Fr Jerome’s approach lay in his grasp of the whole broad sweep of
English history, back to the Romans and beyond. Applied to Dorchester (‘a
fortifiable position, but prone to flooding’) we were presented with a
microcosm of England through the ages, Roman, Saxon, Norman, Catholic and
Protestant, and then on to the building of the Catholic Church in 1849, and its
ups and downs since then (currently its state is very positive) concluding with
an account of its more recent beautification.
concluded with first Vespers of the Sunday, the celebrant being Fr David Rocks
OP and the cantors Fr Guy Nicholls and Deacon Ken MacNab; Benediction of the
Blessed Sacrament followed, as is customary.
We are very
grateful to Father John Osman the parish priest of St Birinus’ for welcoming
us to his church and for his generous hospitality during the day.
AGM at St Mary
Moorfields, London EC2: Saturday 13 October
roots of the parish of St Mary Moorfields go back to several chapels that
sprang up in the area in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Catholic
worship in those days was, of course, illegal and the chapels were known
locally as ‘Penny Hotels’, as people had to pay a penny to a man behind a
grill in the door before they were allowed in. In 1736, the Gordon Rioters
attacked the chapel in Ropemakers Alley, ripping out its altar, fittings and
crucifixes. In 1820 the first church of St Mary Moorfields opened in Finsbury
Circus. As the permanent seat of the Vicar Apostolic, it served as Cardinal
Wiseman’s pro-cathedral from 1850 to 1869. The church was pulled down in 1899
and replaced by the present church in Eldon Street, which was opened on 25th
March 1903. The architect was George Sherrin, who also designed the dome of the
London Oratory as well as several Underground stations.
day started with Solemn Latin Mass and finished with Vespers and Benediction.
Lunch was held in the in the crypt, produced by the parish chef, and, as
promised was particularly good. In the afternoon, Fr Peter Newby, the parish
priest and formerly an architect and antiquarian bookseller, spoke on
‘From active participation to horizons of involvement: translating Liturgy
into Architecture’. He also spoke about St Mary Moorfields, and how the
architecture lent itself to all forms of Liturgy.
Meeting 2012 at Oulton Abbey and Stone, Staffordshire, on 21 April 2012
Our Spring Meeting took place on Saturday 21st April, the feast of St Anselm, at Oulton Abbey
and the convent of Dominican sisters in Stone.
The Benedictine Abbey of the
Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Lady was founded at Ghent in 1624 for
English subjects. It was a filiation of the monastery at Brussels established
in 1598 by Lady Mary Percy, daughter of the martyred Earl of Northumberland,
Blessed Thomas Percy, and was colonised by four professed nuns of Brussels,
namely Dame Lucy Knatchbull, Dame Magdalen Digby, Dame Eugenia Poulton, and
Dame Mary Roper. The community at Ghent prospered and grew, and in time
sent out filiations to Boulogne, Dunkirk and Ypres. When the French
Revolutionary army invaded Flanders in 1794 the community fled to England and
settled at Preston in Lancashire; then (in 1811) it was transferred to
Caverswall Castle in Staffordshire, and finally in 1853 to Oulton near Stone.
The nuns commissioned Edward Pugin to design and build their church, which was
consecrated just one year later in 1854 by Bishop Ullathorne. Edward Pugin was
nineteen at the time, and it is his first church.
The convent at Stone was a
foundation made by Margaret Hallahan who, in 1845, was the first to found a
congregation of non-enclosed Dominican women in Britain. Other congregations of
Dominican sisters were founded in different areas of England during the 19th
century, and in 1929 five of these were amalgamated to form the present
Congregation. The church of the Immaculate Conception and St Dominic was
started by the nuns in 1852, and is by Charles Hansom, being Listed Grade II,
and it contains the tomb of Bishop Ullathorne by J S Hansom.
Solemn High Mass was celebrated at 11.30am at Oulton Abbey, and in the afternoon one of the
community gave us a tour of the convent, grounds and church. Vespers was sung in choir with the
nuns at 4.30pm.
We thank Beryl Terry, the organist at Oulton, for
making the arrangements for what was a very interesting day.
AGM at St
Mary Magdalen, Brighton, on 15 October 2011
The Association enjoyed
one of its most successful Annual General Meetings ever on Saturday 15th
October. We were the guests of the Parish of St Mary Magdalen Brighton,
and of its parish priest Fr Ray Blake. At 12 noon Solemn Mass for the
feast of St Teresa,
Doctor of the Church, was celebrated by Mgr Andrew Burnham of the
Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, assisted by Deacon James Bradley,
also of the Ordinariate, and Br Anselm Carpenter of Farnborough Abbey.
The Mass was celebrated in
the novus ordo as is always the rule for the Association’s masses,
using the ad orientem option, with the Roman Canon, including all the
names of the Saints.
directed by Clare Bowskill, sang the plainsong proper Dilexisti justitiam
and led the congregation in Mass XV Dominator Deus, with Credo III. At
the Offertory they sang the Salve Mater Misericordiae, and during
communion a three-part setting of Panis Angelicus by Giuseppe Baini
(1775-1844). In his homily, reflecting on the life of the great saint
whose day we were celebrating, Mgr Burnham spoke of the great
importance, indeed the centrality, of the interior spiritual life.
A three minute video of the Mass
(courtesy of St Mary Magdalen Choir) may be viewed HERE.
After lunch Mgr Burnham
gave the talk, on ‘The Liturgical Patrimony of the Personal Ordinariate of
Our Lady of Walsingham and the Reform of the Reform’. This extremely topical
and interesting address will be published in Latin Liturgy and can also be
found on the website of the Ordinariate.
The Business meeting opened
with the Chairman’s and the Treasurer’s annual reports, after which the
meeting voted for the maintenance of the current subscription rates and for the
re-election of the three officers of the Council. Three ordinary members were
re-elected for two years, and it was announced that Mgr Bruce Harbert, who led
the work on the new translation of the Roman Missal, has agreed to be co-opted
onto the Council.
The day continued with
First Vespers of the Sunday when the officiant was Deacon James Bradley, and
which was again magnificently led by the Schola, and a beautiful celebration of
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament led by Fr William Young.
The Association wishes to
record its gratitude to Fr Ray and to the parishioners, many of whom attended
the day, and especially to Clare Bowskill whose organisational skills proved
invaluable, and to her singers, who voices so greatly enhanced the liturgies of
An account of the day’s
events, with many photographs, can be found HERE