News Archive

Thursday 17 May 2018

Ushaw College

null2Monsignor John Marsland, the President of Ushaw College writes...

Since the seminary closed in 2011, Ushaw College's Trustees have been seeking a way forward for suitable and sustainable uses for the wonderful chapels, unique buildings and the farmland at Ushaw.   Ushaw is still an independent charitable trust - it gets no financial assistance from diocesan funds, and remains self-supporting.  We have no endowment or wealthy benefactor so every penny must be earned.  The plan that has emerged is to develop a series of different uses – tourism, commercial and spiritual - which importantly open the buildings to the public and make good use of the space here.images-8Ushaw is now open to the public four days a week;  Wednesday – Saturdays 11.00am to 4.00pm.  It hosts general and specialist tours and visits for individuals and groups.  Last year 39,000 people visited the site. There are concerts, talks and events including folk, jazz, classical and brass often on Saturday afternoons. The unique collection of books, church plate, vestments and pictures is displayed in exhibitions throughout the building. We also commission contemporary art to be shown in our galleries and exhibition spaces.  The Refectory serves excellent home cooked food every day apart from Sunday – splendid afternoon teas on Saturdays!ushaw-collegeThere is Mass in the Lady Chapel every Friday lunchtime said by the Chaplain Canon Bob Spence;  prayer of the church and occasional days of reflection.  The Victorian gardens are being restored by an active and talented group of volunteer gardeners and they open to the public every day of the week.

Ushaw welcomes receptions and celebrations to mark important occasions, including weddings.  We host meetings, and conferences for independent groups, churches and charities.

The Trustees have agreed that Ushaw becomes the repository for church vestments, books and artefacts from churches in the North, preserving precious treasures and displaying them alongside Ushaw’s unique collection.

In addition Ushaw has 49 en-suite bedrooms and a small number of permanent residents including Archivist Fr Michael Sharratt.  High spec offices are available for rent, along with artist’s studios and we are seeking funding for a Music and Education Centre.  Our farmland and cottages are rented out and bring in a much needed income.  We have a 10-year partnership with Durham University who occupy the 1960s East Wing. Durham Music Service are our tenants along with their 15,000 musical instruments.

Much progress has been made over the last few years and there is real hope and optimism for the future.  If people are wondering what is happening and how they can help, perhaps we can offer the following

  • Come and be surprised!  For all that many people know of Ushaw, it remains a hidden gem.  Why not make a visit, or arrange a tour – the Flower festival in June will be magnificent – come along and take a look.
  • Become a member.  For a payment of £5 (£12 for a family) you can obtain an annual pass which allows you to come to Ushaw as many times as you like in one year, visit the exhibitions, see the chapels and soak up the wonderful atmosphere.
  • Volunteer!  We have 50 people who regularly guide, steward, garden, work with the collections and in the library- they are committed and loyal and really enjoy being part of the team.
  • Become Friend of Ushaw.  £2 per month gives an annual membership; you receive a twice yearly newsletter, invitations to previews and to the annual Benefactors and Friends Mass.
  • Become a Champion for Ushaw:  volunteer to receive regular updates, information and spread the word!  A Champion in every parish would be wonderful.

Please keep Ushaw in your prayers:  from its original foundation in France, Ushaw has been teaching and witnessing the Gospel for 450 years –we want that Christian tradition and heritage to continue and flourish. Support us if you are able and come along and see the wonderful architecture, be enthralled by the extraordinary history and help us maintain this wonderful Christian place for the future.  Details are on our website, or by telephone 0191 373 8500.LAP_NEC_280415ushaw_24JPG

Monday 14 May 2018

Congratulations to the Oratory in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

IMG_0020Congratulations to the Oratory at Port Elizabeth, South Africa, celebrating ten years as an independent community. Fr Gregory Mitchell, the Father (back row third from left) did some of his studies in the Oxford Oratory. Fr Lewis Berry, the Novice Master (back row fourth from left) was a member of the Birmingham Oratory and did a lot of work on the Cause for the Canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman.

Saturday 12 May 2018

Music for May

May MusicPlease click on the poster to enlarge it.

Friday 11 May 2018

St Philip's Day - 26 May

FNeriSt Philips' DayThe Solemnity of St Philip Neri, the founder of the Oratory, is on Saturday, 26 May. There will be Sung First Vespers at 6pm on Friday, 25 May. On Saturday, 26 May, Rt Rev Marcus Stock, the Bishop of Leeds, will be the Celebrant and Preacher at the Sung Mass in St Wilfrid’s which will be at the slightly earlier time of 12 noon.

Monday 30 April 2018

Rosary on the Coast

P1100572_DxO_DxOVP_previewThirty parishioners from St Wilfrid's and St Joseph's went to Scarborough for Rosary on the Coast. We were joined by a contingent from St George's too. Overall there were 130 participants on the slipway by the Lifeboat Station with the incoming tide lapping against our ankles. Facebook has lots of pictures from the hundreds of venues around Britain and its offshore islands and there is more information on the Rosary on the Coast website.

Monday 30 April 2018

Catholicism and the Arts

31337764_240902763317008_9095502196472236272_nThe next talk and discussion will be on Thursday, 3 May from 5pm to 6.30pm in the Upper Room at St Wilfrid's. The theme is "The Loaded Image, Marian Imagery through he Ages". It will be led by Katherine Hinzman a doctoral student at the University of York.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

St Wilfrid's Open Garden

P1050269There is a nice write up in the York Press of our Open Garden Day last Saturday, with some - slightly posed  - photographs! Many thanks to all who came or helped. Well over £800 was raised for the parish. Our own pictures, above and below, are more natural, we hope!P1050225-1P1050261-1P1050250-1P1050242-1P1050273

Friday 13 April 2018

Bishop Terry's encouragement for Rosary on the Coast


The Rosary is such a rich prayer, so full of meaning and variety. In the mysteries themselves we can recall to mind the great events of salvation. In the Hail Mary we are reminded of the moment the Word became flesh. We can also commend ourselves in our weakness and vulnerability to the intercession of our Blessed Lady. In the Glory be we praise the Blessed Trinity and in the Our Father we say the prayer that Our Saviour taught us himself. These are just some of the many reasons that I commend and encourage the Rosary on the Coast in the hope that many people from this diocese of Middlesbrough will join with their brothers and sisters throughout the British Isles in asking the intercession of our Blessed Lady for the grace to become once again her dowry, for the peace of our country and respect for life.

Friday 6 April 2018

St Wilfrid's Open Garden

IMG_1619-e1466265741839There will be a plant sale in the yard on Saturday, 14 April from 10 am. And the Rectory garden will be open from noon for the spring flowers. Plants will be for sale, and there will be light refreshments.

Friday 6 April 2018

The Last Things: Death, Judgement, Hell and Heaven

6052391843_0f826d8fde_bPress reports over the Easter period suggested that the teaching of the Catholic Church on the Last Things may have changed. This  is impossible of course. It was strongly denied by the Holy See. But it seems a good opportunity to remind ourselves of a recent restatement of the authentic teaching of the Church in Pope Benedict's Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi published in November 2007. The Pope Emeritus manages to be consoling while remaining faithful to scripture and the constant tradition of the Church....

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), Jesus admonishes us through the image of a soul destroyed by arrogance and opulence, who has created an impassable chasm between himself and the poor man; the chasm of being trapped within material pleasures; the chasm of forgetting the other, of incapacity to love, which then becomes a burning and unquenchable thirst. We must note that in this parable Jesus is not referring to the final destiny after the Last Judgement, but is taking up a notion found in early Judaism, namely that of an intermediate state between death and resurrection, a state in which the final sentence is yet to be pronounced. 

This early Jewish idea of an intermediate state includes the view that these souls are not simply in a sort of temporary custody but, as the parable of the rich man illustrates, are already being punished or are experiencing a provisional form of bliss. There is also the idea that this state can involve purification and healing which mature the soul for communion with God. The early Church took up these concepts, and in the Western Church they gradually developed into the doctrine of Purgatory. We do not need to examine here the complex historical paths of this development; it is enough to ask what it actually means. With death, our life-choice becomes definitive - our life stands before the judge. Our choice, which in the course of an entire life takes on a certain shape, can have a variety of forms. There can be people who have totally destroyed their desire for truth and readiness to love, people for whom everything has become a lie, people who have lived for hatred and have suppressed all love within themselves. This is a terrifying thought, but alarming profiles of this type can be seen in certain figures of our own history. In such people all would be beyond remedy and the destruction of good would be irrevocable: this is what we mean by the word Hell. On the other hand there can be people who are utterly pure, completely permeated by God, and thus fully open to their neighbours - people for whom communion with God even now gives direction to their entire being and whose journey towards God only brings to fulfilment what they already are.

Yet we know from experience that neither case is normal in human life. For the great majority of people - we may suppose - there remains in the depths of their being an ultimate interior openness to truth, to love, to God. In the concrete choices of life, however, it is covered over by ever new compromises with evil - much filth covers purity, but the thirst for purity remains and it still constantly re-emerges from all that is base and remains present in the soul. What happens to such individuals when they appear before the Judge? Will all the impurity they have amassed through life suddenly cease to matter? What else might occur? Saint Paul, in his First Letter to the Corinthians, gives us an idea of the differing impact of God's judgement according to each person's particular circumstances. He does this using images which in some way try to express the invisible, without it being possible for us to conceptualise these images - simply because we can neither see into the world beyond death nor do we have any experience of it. Paul begins by saying that Christian life is built upon a common foundation: Jesus Christ. This foundation endures. If we have stood firm on this foundation and built our life upon it, we know that it cannot be taken away from us even in death. Then Paul continues: “Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw - each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). In this text, it is in any case evident that our salvation can take different forms, that some of what is built may be burned down, that in order to be saved we personally have to pass through “fire” so as to become fully open to receiving God and able to take our place at the table of the eternal marriage-feast.