Fr Nicolas CR: "This
week we have been very thin on the ground.
has taken the four younger brethren and novices to
to tour monasteries there. Those of you on Twitter may have seen much
news of this but we haven’t.
y were intending to visit the Cistercian Sisters at Vittorchiano. This
is a really flourishing community who have a lot of Sisters themselves
and have made several foundations in
. Recently they asked for an ecumenical link with us as some of their
sisters have had a strong ecumenical concern in their prayer.
Brethren are also visiting Bose, an ecumenical community founded in the
2. Not having the younger brethren has meant life is
quieter but we do miss their singing in Choir and of course they absence
leaves a big gap. It will be nice to have them back, refreshed, we hope,
and inspired by their monastic journeys".
Fr John CR: "Dear Companions and friends, Greetings.
I’m sitting at a new laptop struggling to find the new position of the
keys so please forgive any errors. I have just written half of an
article on the College in WWI and I thought that if I turned my
attentions to Companions and friends that it would cheer me up. Need I
say life has been busy since my last letter to the Companions? In the
past week with the Novices, Marc and Fabian, I led the pre Lent retreat
for Priests. We were very tired when it was over but I must admit that
it was one of the most enjoyable pieces of work that I have ever
Novices did a great job; their input was thoughtful and at times very
beautiful. Fabian delighted us with Schubert’s Ave Maria and Marc
taught us to sing ‘Hail o Star that pointest’.
departing Priests all expressed a very warm appreciation of the retreat.
Marc didn’t get time to cool down.
next day he was assisting at a quiet day for the Community of All Saints
– an experimental non-resident community for the Diocese of Wakefield.
Soon, however, he will have his reward.
and the Novices will be visiting some Religious Communities in
later this month to learn more about traditional and more modern forms
of monastic life. When they return, Marc will do Stations of the Cross
at Mirfield before setting off with me to help in the celebration of
Holy Week with the Parish of Cheadle in Staffordshire. Fabian, who
conducted a very moving Stations for the retreat, will be conducting
them at Mirfield this (third) evening. I began Lent as celebrant at the
Eucharist for St
with the traditional ceremony of ashing. Next week I will conduct
’s, Southowram. I have a mid-Lent evening on Pilgrimage at the Centre
and Stations at CR. I am looking forward to Easter! Auction news: When I
wrote the last letter I was tentatively proposing another auction next
year subject to enough things being donated. I’m happy to say that an
auction is now firmly on the horizon. No date has been fixed but
sometime after Easter 2018 is likely. If we had an auction of what I
have collected so far I calculate that we would raise £700 - £1,000.
So my target is £10,000. I know that you will all pray for me and I
hope that those of you who are able will also help me to achieve this
goal (and maybe even a bit more). Please see the leaflet here.
With my continuing studies into
the Community’s activities in WWI, items of interest from that period
would be both of personal interest to me and as we approach the 100th
anniversary of the armistice would stimulate a lot of interest in the
auction. So please encourage friends and family to search out things
that may help our work for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom. As we
enter the Holy Season of Lent may God bless you and strengthen you that
you may remain Sure and Stedfast in the faith of Christ. John Gribben
The Community's new website is now live! Please have a look at www.mirfield.org.uk.
As a result, this Companions website will soon be disappearing.
From Marc NovCR "Hello to our diverse group of Companions
and friends throughout the regions. Perhaps if one were told on enquiry
that the monastic vocation would be so fulsome, it would not readily
lead to an uptake of the life. However, I for one am on the whole glad
of the busyness, for it must be balanced with our chiefest call to
prayer and the celebration of the Liturgy. This is essential in the
maintenance of a stable life both for oneself, one’s brethren and all
those who visit us. We have just said goodbye to fifteen priests of
God’s church who arrived looking more than ready for their time with
us on retreat last Monday.
y left communicated, anointed and altogether more refreshed! On Saturday
last, Philip CR and myself led a quiet day for Bishop Tony (
) and the All Saints’ community.
se are members of the
Episcopal area whom Bishop Tony is encouraging to keep a rule of life
and to draw upon the resources of monastic life and culture in their
discipleship. It was a very happy event and one in which we concluded
with an abridged form of the Resurrection Vigil (for which I was
thurifer). Another first - serving for a prelate! Tomorrow sees a
different challenge, as Fr Dennis and I come out of residence and
prepare to discuss ethics and vocation with a group of GCSE students
from Yarm school with Jacob and Nicolas CR. Following this, Dennis and I
will lead a pilgrimage weekend together before ten days visiting three
monasteries in Italy... phew... it will then be Holy week, for which I
feel very privileged to be accompanying John CR to Staffordshire. Fr
James, the Incumbent, appears very generous with his preaching slots to
us... maybe too generous! With my prayers and good wishes for your
Lenten observances and our mutual looking east to the hope of the
dawning Son/Sun of Resurrection. In Christ,
hoped that CR's new website (into which this one will be subsumed) will
launch on 22 February.
The latest monthly Newsletter
(February 2017) can be found
From Fr John CR: "To
All Companions and Friends. It does seem a long time since the last
letter but with Advent and Christmas the Community has been very active.
Someone at Parkrun asked me what I had done on Christmas Day. I replied
that I had been at six services and had a big dinner! He was speechless.
We did have six services and all of them were beautiful. I was almost
overwhelmed by the feelings which the midnight Mass evoked.
There were high thoughts and homely ones – remembering past Christmasses
and old friends, looking at the bambino and reflecting on the mystery of
God’s love made flesh. The
novices Fabian and Marc built and
decorated the crib and they made a beautiful job of it. Our younger
members - again Marc and Fabian with the addition of Jacob - produced
magnificent dinners for us on Christmas Day and the Feast of Stephen.
Most of us had to let out our belts over Christmas. Like many other
families at this time whenever you thought you’d had enough someone
opened a box of chocolates or brought out another plate of mince pies. I
Day (27th Dec) - it is quiet and relaxed and I think back to that day in
1979 when I celebrated the Eucharist for the last time as a Church
of Ireland Priest. A month later I would be setting off in blinding snow on the journey
that would bring me to CR. Indeed I will be back in
on 27th January for the first time in 38 years. On St John’s night the Brethren went into retreat, which after the business and
excitement of the Christmas celebrations was sheer bliss. All too soon
the retreat ended and we had to begin the nine days of General Chapter.
This was a good humoured and pleasant time when the whole Community
worked on future business matters and participated in sessions for our
mutual development an education - Rule of St Benedict, Safeguarding and
Living together. Last weekend George preached and Peter played the organ
in Dewsbury Minster for the inauguration of the College
of St Hild. This is the non-residential theology course that is based at Mirfield
and, having begun life as the Northern Ordination Course, has been known
for many years as the Yorkshire Ministry Course and after recent
reorganisation and merging with the College of St Barnabas Sheffield now
lives to serve the Church and Ordinands under its new patron (Hild is an
alternative and perhaps older form of Hilda). Having YMC on the site has
brought many benefits and friendships to the Community and College of
the Resurrection and we wish the Principal, staff and students of St
Hild every blessing in this new phase of theological formation. Anglican
Religious Communities have a joint education scheme as part of novitiate
formation and at the moment under George and Oswin’s guidance the
novices are meeting at Mirfield. There are five, two of whom are Marc and Fabian. This is not the total of
Anglican novices and postulants - some have been unable to attend - but
numbers are small. We thank you for your prayers and encouragement -
keep it up and don’t be afraid to suggest to likely candidates that
they might think of looking at this possibility. I will be conducting a
retreat at Launde Abbey this weekend and I will be going to Belfast for a few days next week. I will return on 31st January. 2nd February is
the great feast of Christ the Light of the Nations - Candlemas, the last
day of Christmas and so at the moment I can still wish you all a Happy
Christmas. 3rd Feb: All of the above was written a couple of weeks ago
and rather than try to amend it I’m adding this addenda: I learned
this morning of the death of our Companion Edith Pierce. She was 100 and
recently I replied to a note from her informing me that she had recently
been on retreat and was planning one for this year. I have known her for
a long time and I shall miss her but I believe that she was ready for
glory. May she rest in peace. News on fund raising: We are entering a
new phase as we plan for a future in which Mirfield will play an
important part in the Church’s plans to supply pastors and teachers
and general theological teaching for the 21st century. This will involve
more suitable monastic accommodation for CR and a major upgrading of the
House for Retreat, conference and teaching purposes. I have already
floated the idea of an auction in 2018 if enough items were donated or
promised. On the response so far I would not be able to plan for one but
just before going to press a number of promises arrived which make
another auction a distinct possibility. So watch this space! Songs for
the Soul by Ivor Moody (Rejoice Publications UK £7.99, EU 8.99, US$13.99) comes out on 23rd Feb and will be sold by
Mirfield Publications. Fr Moody is Vice Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral,
former student CoR and a fellow King’s College London graduate. We
didn’t quite overlap and I am several years older than him but we are
both from an era when you couldn’t walk down a student corridor
without hearing Sound of Silence or Love is All You need wafting from
the rooms. When you look back on the secular songs of the sixties and
seventies you are made aware of spirituality struggling to understand
the 20th Century. Fr Ivor uses songs from Simon and Garfunkel, the
Beatles, Leonard Cohen and others probing some of the great themes of
faith. I look forward to this publication. Love in the Lord. John
From Marc nCR: "The
Brethren are well, although one or two have colds and other
seasonal maladies. Last week the Community was glad to welcome a
group of three novices for a conference on the theme of ‘Office and
Eucharist,’ expertly led by Fr. George CR.
gathering, comprising myself, Fabian (nCR), Aidan (nOSB), Liz (Postulant
SSB) and Sue (Postulant SLG) was part of a two-year rolling programme
organised and facilitated jointly by the Novice Guardians of our various
Anglican Religious Communities. It was extremely good that we were able
to host this session, as others have had to be cancelled recently due to
lack of attendees. We enjoyed a varied programme, with a good balance of
teaching, learning and recreation. Mornings involved a daily singing
practice to get to grips with the plainchant, before a lecture-style
session on a particular aspect of our topic. This enabled insightful
discussion on life in our respective Communities. We also enjoyed a
walk, a social evening (not entirely teetotal!) and a wonderful
excursion to Dewsbury Minster at the end of the week where we saw the
beautiful chapel of St. Paulinus and were photographed in front of the
fine wooden reredos in the narthex. A good time of fellowship and
learning had by all. We are now looking forward to being together for
the next conference!"
latest CR Quarterly Review (Epiphany 2017) is here;
latest Quarterly Intercession List (Epiphany) is here
and the month by month Intercession List for 2017 is here.
Don't forget the latest Companions list can always be found
here, regularly updated
Preached by Fr George Guiver, Superior CR
in Dewsbury Minster on 14 January 2017, for
the launch of St Hild College, which replaces the Yorkshire Ministry
Course and continues to operate from it present site within the grounds
of CR at Mirfield.
From Fr Nicolas CR: "A
couple of Brethren have been home to see family (Oswin, Jacob and Marc).
Peter ended term with acute tonsilitis but that didn’t stop him
driving off to West Malling to be with his nuns! Most of us are slowly
winding down, except our novice Fabian who has taken on the task of
cooking Christmas dinner and Boxing day dinner. He seems very competent
but is certainly throwing himself into it with great energy. He has
roped in Jacob and Marc so I hope they enjoy it! Last week I went off to Stanbrook Abbey for a
day. They moved a few years ago from Worcestershire to
and have built a brand new monastery with a stunning view. My reason for
going is that one of the nuns is a friend of mine from
and we are trying to write something together. Who knows? It may
actually appear. People often ask what we do at Christmas. Well we
don’t sing carols until Midnight Mass so that is unusual (actually
some did go to a carol service at the Catholic church last Sunday).
Then we eat a traditional Christmas meal on Christmas Day. This year our
friends have been generous in giving us wine so there will plenty for
the various feast days that celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. What is
very unusual in this noisy world is that on 27th Dec
we go into retreat for three days. It is a marvellous time to relax,
think about Christmas, read something really good and get ready for
Chapter. I hope all our Companions and anyone else who
reads this has a really joyful time celebrating the Coming of the Son of
God into our broken, fragile but beautiful world. With every blessing from us all"
The Companions List has now been fully updated, again thanks to the work
of CR Companion Linda Blenkinship. Please click
here for the latest version and, if you are able, please pray for
the Companions on the Tuesdays shown in 2017. Thank you.
The latest monthly Newsletter
(December 2016) can be found here
From Fr John CR: "Dear Friends and Companions, Remember me?
I wrote to you all around the beginning of July and I finished by saying
that I was going to be busy and it might be some time before I would be
able to write. I was right on both counts. I have had something major on
every week since until last week when I was able to clear quite a
backlog of mail. Last night I intended to sit down and write the
Companion’s Letter and what happened? My computer broke down and
refused to open up – refusing even Bro. Jacob’s magic touch.
However, this morning after some gentle coaxing I gained entrance and
here we are. Why was I so busy? Well in July there was Companion’s
Study Day, General Chapter with a host of activities.
My thanks to all who helped at the study
day and Festival and perhaps this is the best place to record our thanks
to Vanessa for organising an enjoyable Companion’s Day in Southwark in
the face of a number of difficulties.
After Chapter I had an exciting August
with three weeks holiday in
followed by three weeks involved with a mission in
(a church where I was a server and have been associated with for nearly
sixty years). I don’t know how you count success but this was a very
team consisted of five students (four from Mirfield and one from St
Stephen’s House) and Catherine Stewart the vicar’s daughter. I think
that this is the first
from CR for about twenty years (the College did one last year) and the
first one in
for about the same length of time.
atmosphere was good and the rapport between team and the
church was really
exciting. We had devotional events in the evening
- Religion through Cinema (guess who led this?) Songs of Praise
with the SA Band, Choral
Evensong (St George’s have a very good choir) a requiem, a healing
service and a pilgrimage to St Patrick’s grave. My thanks to the
clergy and people, to Catherine Stewart, Philip Kennedy from St
Stephen’s House and the Mirfield Students (Alex Hobbs, Stffan Mathias,
Sebastian Hamilton and Waldemar Nion). It was a
great privilege to work with such a team and a
great joy to share a special brand of Anglicanism in the heart of
else did I do?
re was Guardian’s Chapter in Walsingham, Community business
(where for light relief I went to see King Lear one evening!), a course
on safeguarding in
and a Mirfield Pilgrimage at home. Between times I have been catching up
on e-mails and spiritual direction and seeing probationer Companions. In
my spare time I have been running – I scored a personal Best of 5K in
26.11 mins in Victoria Park, Belfast. So
here I am back at my desk and very glad to be in Mirfield. I want to say
‘How are you all?’ but I’m afraid that would create a new mountain
of emails. I hope that you are all well and happy. I have had emails
about Companion’s illnesses, bereavements and other sorrows. I want to
assure you of my prayers. When I get such an email I try to light a
candle in church that evening. I
hope the foregoing doesn’t sound like self-obsession but I have had
such an exciting
year that I wanted to share it. I am by no means the busiest CR Father.
Superior, the Prior and many of the Brethren have just as busy a
schedule and do a lot more than me to keep the life of the House going.
At the end of this weeks we will be celebrating that wonderful feast of
Christ the Universal King and then we are into the lovely season of
Advent. We will have the usual pre-Advent and Advent retreats and what
has come to be our traditional devotional service O Come Emmanuel
(Sunday 4th at 4.30).
n comes Christmas and we are blessed that this year we will have two
novices (Marc and Fabian) to decorated the crib. Although
he hasn’t asked for it, I think special mention needs to be made of
Nicolas’s tireless efforts on behalf of deprived children in Zimbabwe.
His Charity (Tariro) keeps going despite the change in the value of its
income. Remember him in your prayers and perhaps encourage him when you
can. Now a few requests of my own: If any Companion has, or knows of the
existence of a copy of ‘the Best is Yet to Be’ a pamphlet on illness
by Fr Hilary Beasley CR, I would be very grateful for the loan of it in
order to have it republished. Auctions
– I have had a lot of questions from friends, Companions, dealers and
not least from the auctioneer himself (my brother George) about another
auction. I am certainly not going to have another auction in 2017.
last one involved quite a strenuous effort on my part and
of collection and storage were greater than in the previous ones.
However, the event was such an enjoyable and entertaining occasion and
with fund-raising on the Community's agenda once more I am looking to
see if there is any way in 2018 of having an auction that would not rest
so heavily on an individual’s shoulders. So I am putting out an
exploratory feeler. I want to hear from companions who would be
willing to donate small items that would store easily and not occupy
much space such as jewellery, medals and other military items, old stamp
collections (no loose modern), coins. At this stage I am only
investigating. If I thought that we could raise between £1,000 and £5,000
it would be worth the effort and
we could look forward to a bit of fun in 2018. Lastly
a preliminary notice – in 2017 the Companion’s Study Day will be on 7
July. This event is normally followed by a Festival Day which is a
mixture of Companion’s and Community events and Companion’s
membership is reaffirmed and new members enrolled.
Festival Day in 2017 however will be on 9 July as a day of thanksgiving
for the re-ordering of the Church.
building will be re-hallowed on that day. In consultation
with the Companion’s
Council the Community decide that the solemn Eucharist on 9th would be
the most fitting day for renewal of commitment and receiving of new
Companions. This means that 7th, 8th and 9th will all be special days. The
programme is still to be filled out so keep a watch on the
website and CR
Quarterly for further details. Meanwhile
have a happy and glorious Advent and may the blessings of Christ our
saviour be with you all. John
The latest monthly Newsletter
(November 2016) can be found here
CR's 2015 published accounts, which includes a list of
achievements in the past year, can be viewed here
From Br Marc CR "Greetings
to the Companions from the Brothers CR. We’ve had another
run-of-the-mill busy week at the House of the Resurrection, with the
comings and goings of two parish pilgrimage group from Bury St. Edmunds
and Chorlton-cum-Hardy respectively. Fabian novCR and I were involved
with both of these, leading acts of worship (independently!) and serving
alongside our Priest brothers, Oswin, John and Crispin CR who offered
the sacrament of anointing while we laid on hands for any who wished.
What an awesome privilege (albeit energy-sapping) to meet and minister
to people in this way. It has been one of the first things we have
worked on together as Novices and we have both been challenged and
delighted. I think it is great to see God’s renewing love being poured
out time and again within the lives of people. I have also completed my
first Hebdomadary week - leading the major ferial offices of the
Community. Another first and another privilege!
singing went quite well and I enjoyed it. God is being very kind and
always showing himself new in his ‘manifold and great mercies.’ I
hope that is an experience we each may have. Love in Christ, Marc novCR"
From Fr Crispin CR: This weekend we have had a railway
group in, led by Philip and Aidan. They enjoyed the Worth Valley train
from Keighley to Howarth. Now we are in Chapter so everyone is here and
tomorrow we are studying the Letter to the Hebrews, led by Dr Loveday
The brand new
Community website, which will subsume this site, is likely to be
launched by the end of this month.
The latest monthly Newsletter
(October 2016) can be found here
From Fr Dennis CR:
"I have just returned from watching some of the cricket being
played on CR’s sports field between teams from Yorkshire and from
. Not surprisingly there is some (good natured) county rivalry at play
in this match but what is most notable is that each county is
represented by a team consisting of imams and vicars. It is an
inter-faith cricket competition, but not one pitting Islam and
Christianity against one another. Instead it is a friendly “war of the
roses” in which everyone here on this fine Saturday afternoon is
enjoying themselves in the sunshine beneath the blue skies of Mirfield
on this 17 September.
The latest monthly Newsletter
(September 2016) can be found here
From Fr Thomas CR "After
the full retreat of IGRs last week the house has been a little less busy
although we have had a good number of guests. I had the personal delight
of the arrival of my godson and his sister who brought their parents and
had a lovely time on Sunday and Monday.
y had been given a present of cameras which you can use under water and
so were eager to take pictures of the fish in the rose garden, who did
not seem to be put out that much by their intrusion. Perhaps like you we
have been enjoying some good summer weather and that has allowed
visitors to take use of the grounds which this year are shewing
extensive growth and good fruit: plenty of plums and damsons and for the
first time greengages are around although a heavy hail storm has reduced
the apples by a large proportion; there will still be lots to use and
eat. George is away at the moment visiting Burnham Abbey and Oswin,
Peter and John are all away on holiday; Jacob is leading the singing
which he does very well and would be better if a brother tried less to
'help'! Rather sadly, a brother lost his laptop to an intruder and the
infirmary lost its keys; keys to cupboards which hold aspirin and milk
of magnesia (a hoard for later?). It is a while since we had a theft
like this, but it is a bit upsetting".
From Marc Voase NovCR "Warm
greetings to all our Companions and Friends from the Brethren CR. I have
now lived in the Community for ten months and been a novice for six of
those! What a time it has been. One certainly seems to pack a lot in…
time certainly flies and it isn’t always fun but ‘Ubi Caritas et
amor, Deus ibi est’ . This has certainly proved true to me during
my relatively short time here.
three weeks of July chapter are over. Jacob CR is having a holiday in
Scotland and John CR went off today (Monday) for a fortnight in
. Prayers for him, Alex, Stefan and Waldemar from the College, please,
as they conduct a mission from 10 to 18 September at
to commemorate its bicentenary year. Oswin and Nicholas CR are
conducting IGR’s in the house all this week, so we have a very full
but silent refectory. It isn’t always easy having so many guests week
in week out but hospitality is a key part of our community’s ministry
and it is wonderful that the loving Lord provides for the many who come
through our doors. Perhaps it is when things appear difficult in our
lives, we are most ably serving God? As a priest friend of mine says,
‘When you’re down to nothing, God is up to something’. Every
blessing, and enjoy any summer holidays you’re having". Marc
From Fr John CR:
"Dear Companions and Friends, It does seem a long time since I
wrote a Companion’s letter. I did begin the process at the beginning
of July but somehow that has been lost and we have been very busy since
re have been many events – not least a happy General Chapter. Father
Peter gave the Companions a helpful and enjoyable study day on plainsong
and church music.
Festival day was a great event with
a memorable talk to about 80 people in the morning given by Claire
Foster-Gilbert on Laudate Si.
weather was kind to us and after a beautiful Mass everyone had an
re were several beautiful and exciting events as well as
ordinary business during this year‘s General Chapter. We went on
pilgrimage to Staunton Harrald – the only parish church to be built
during the puritan regime. It was a great opportunity to appreciate the
legacy of holiness left by our Anglican forefathers. While in the area
we called at
and saw King Richard’s tomb. I have a certain affection for
‘Crookback’ and take the Tudor propaganda for what it is worth.
tomb was very beautiful and we hope that our high altar will be made of
similar stone. Our
final treat on the last Sunday of Chapter was a trip to the Hepworth
for to see the exhibition of the works of Stanley Spencer – it was
like a visit to heaven. Just
before GC we had the European Referendum. I don’t intend to comment on
the result as I respect all the views of people of good conscience but I
do want to mention one casualty dear to us – Tariro. Fr Nicolas tells
me that the fall in the value of the pound means a loss of £1,000 per
month in the value of the charity’s cash flow in other words £12,000
a year that need to be made
up if the income is to be maintained at the present level. Please pray
for him and if you can help him in any way it will be very welcome. Finally
playmates, I am off to
today and I won’t be back until the 20th September. It is not all
holiday fun. I will have my usual annual break with my family but this
will be followed by a mission in
Belfast. I will be accompanied by four students from the College and one from
St Stephen’s House plus Catherine Stewart the Rector’s daughter. I
am really looking forward to it. Please pray for the Mission
(10-18 September)". John
The latest monthly Newsletter
(July 2016) can be found here
From Fr Nicolas CR: "After a very busy few weeks life has
quietened down. Several brethren are away either on holiday or work.
Eric and Peter have just got back from visiting nuns. Oswin has been at
Turvey Abbey with an Internovitiate Day for Anglican novices.
Then he goes to
to preach at a first mass and I go to
on Sunday to preach at a first mass at
sun has been shining all day; that is big news! Jacob and Paul have been
cutting back wisteria which was threatening to engulf the retreat house.
Also they are dismantling and repairing gutters and down pipes. Nice to
have a young brother who can do that sort of thing! Actually are two
novices, Marc and Shaun (postulant actually) are very good and energetic
in the garden. Today we admitted Fr Timothy Forbes Adam as a Companion.
He is 92 and was at
and in the War with Aelred Stubbs so we think him a good bet for
perseverance! On Saturday I shall be receiving the First Oblation of
Andrew Proud, a layman from
The latest monthly Newsletter
(June 2016) can be found here
Fr John CR: "Dear
Companions and Friends - This
week we learned of the death of Fr Derek Birch. He was a faithful
Companion and retreatant and tremendous support to me during the auction
campaign. I think that I have known him all my life in the Community. He
was quiet and gentle and he will be missed by many. Our love and prayers
are with his wife and family. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
How often have I said that in the past couple of years?
harvest of friends and relatives that has been gathered to God in recent
times seems to be overwhelming. Faces of people who I thought would
always be around have passed out of my range of vision but then we have
been celebrating the wonderful season of Easter with its promise of
Glory and its great gift of hope through Jesus Christ our saviour and if
we believe the Letter to the Hebrews our friends have not gone from us
but have joined Moses and Joshua and the great cloud of witnesses who
encourage us and join us in the praise of God and the fellowship of the
Easter period has seen the completion
of the Resurrection chapel altar and the addition of the new paschal
candlestick. Each of them proclaims the Gospel in its own way. The
candlestick tells us that Christ is our light and that we shouldn’t
hide that light.
altar gives us a wonderful visual image of Resurrection scene and is a
great aid to meditation or a starting point for Stations of the
Resurrection. With the auction and Lent
behind me I have tidied my office and bedroom and settled down to do
some study. This is a great joy to me and it is working very well. I am
at the moment reading on the Old Testament and on Dante. In connection
with the latter I have also begun to read Virgil (in English – I’m
afraid I never learned Latin). I have also returned to CR in WWI. A very
exciting item has come my way. Someone has loaned me the war diary of Fr
Osmund Victor CR which covers his time as a chaplain from 1917-1919. It
is a wonderful insight into one of the most difficult periods in that
most horrible of wars. I think I have said before that this line of
study has transformed my knowledge of former CR Fathers. Once they were
just names on an intercession list. Now I fell that I know them.
Blessings for Trinity Sunday,
Sacred Heart. I am looking forward to seeing some of you in Walsingham
soon and at Mirfield next Month. A footnote – Shaun, our latest
postulant has just arrived. Please pray for him. Love in the Lord. John
The latest monthly Newsletter
(May 2016) can be found here
Fr John CR:
"Dear Friends and Companions, Alleluia Christ is Risen! I hope that
you all enjoyed the Paschal festival. I spent a very enjoyable Holy Week
and Easter at Walsingham Parish. Fr Mitcham was a very good host and
people were kind to me and responsive to my addresses. It is a lovely
place to be and although I had to preach each night it was much more
like a holiday and a retreat than work.
week prior to Holy Week at Mirfield had been extremely busy for me and
filled with problems so I was quite relieved to say goodbye for a few
days. I took the bus to Huddersfield and did the usual Saturday Parkrun
before catching the first of the four trains that would eventually
deposit me in
where Fr Andrew picked me up. Walsingham was lovely and there were good
numbers in the parish church all week. I’m not sure what
people received from my addresses but I know that I received the
calmness and peace of that beautiful place – it was like being on
retreat. Even the sad news of the death of Sister Wendy, old student
James Wesson and the memory of Bill Ryon’s death just a couple of
weeks before all seemed to be caught up in the Easter message of
Resurrection victory. It all seems a long time ago now and an auction
has come and gone since. My brother was on good form and Kevin,
supported this time by Janet and Barbara, did a great job of finding and
holding up the objects as the auctioneer called them out. We had a
really good result and by the time I’ve added the various extras we
should be near £20,000. This is a great result and I want to thank you
all who either actively or by your prayers have contributed to the
success. Needless to say I was quite tired after it was over and only
now am I able to sit down at a clear desk in a clean and tidy office and
get down to other work. Tomorrow is the feat of St Philip and St James
who are the saints of the ordinary day-to-day life of the Church. At the
moment I appreciate that ordinariness. Every blessing for the Ascension.
Details about the CR Companions Day on 8 July can be
Exciting news - CR is working on a new website which will
incorporate a discrete section for Companions. Many of the features on
this current website will still be available to Companions and the
overall site should offer many enhancements over this one, which was
first set up at a time when CR did not have a meaningful web presence
and when news from the Community was hard to come by. Things have now
changed positively in those regards and the new site is awaited with
The CR auction held on Saturday 9 April raised £18,000
on the day, a wonderful achievement.
Details about two forthcoming events at CR: 30
Recital and 14 May Chamber
Sad news: Bill Ryon Jr has died. Bill was a longstanding
CR Companion and known to many who have joined the annual Companions
pilgrimage to Walsingham. Sincerest condolences go to his wife and
family. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
Please click here
for a wonderful photographic record of Holy Week 2016 at CR, with
grateful thanks to Robert Hammond
From Marc NovCR:
"This is my first update as a four week old novice of
CR, so may I offer all Companions a warm hello. You each know that the
Community is an incredibly busy place forasmuch as it is also one of
space for quiet encounter with God. This is something of a paradox that
all Brethren must learn and work hard to accommodate. I too am learning
this and the weeks certainly seem to fly past with many new things to
confront one on a daily basis. All is good, if sometimes challenging and
perplexing! This weekend, Andrew NovCR and I were fortunate to accompany
Fr. George, Br. Philip and Br. Jacob to Leicester Cathedral, where we
were met by the Canon Precentor who spoke to us about the Swaledale
stone tomb of Richard III. This type of stone may be a consideration for
us with regard to the new High Altar for the Community church.
stone clearly displays fossilised remains which are very interesting
aesthetically. It was also intriguing to hear the tale of the tomb’s
. We rounded off the day with a lovely visit to the CHN Sisters in
. A nice time was had indeed with clement weather into the bargain! We
are also enjoying a visit from a lovely group of students from
, who are sharing many interesting anecdotes with us about their lives
and studies. CR is certainly an enriching environment. My warmest wishes
to you all as we prepare to celebrate the Easter feast and behold again
the threshold of Resurrection life. Marc NovCR".
The latest monthly Newsletter
(March 2016) can be found here
From Fr Nicolas CR: "Last
night we admitted Br Andrew Andrew Ellis as a Novice. Andrew is a
mathematician by training, has been doing software development for some
years and for fun likes cycling and fishing – not much chance of that
yet this winter! He joins Br Marc Voase who was made a Novice a month
ago. This weekend we have been in General Chapter with our Visitor,
Bishop Graham James.
College, meanwhile, has been having the Bishops’ inspectors all week
and it seems they have been very impressed with what they have found
here, as indeed they should. Some elements of the Church of England seem
to be doing all they can to close down residential training of clergy,
largely on financial grounds. Lets hope these inspectors can convince
them it is worth the money if you want good Priests".
From Fr Thomas CR: "This
Saturday Andrew Ellis will be made a novice, which is something we are
all looking forward to. It is some time since the Community has had two
novices together and both are very welcome presences. We also have an 'alongsider'
with us, Michael from Merseyside who is very prayerful and engaging with
a background in theology and working with the disabled. One of the good
things is that he - like the novices - are happy gardening. We have a
chapter this weekend and will receive the accounts, happily in a better
state than for some time, the result of the good work of our financial
re will also be a buffet supper after Evensong tomorrow for both guests
and ourselves and Nicolas will tells us about his month in
- there is a severe lack of rain at the moment and the crops are
threatened and some are already going hungry. It makes it feel
uncomfortable that we have had so much rain since the autumn. Simon and
I have been giving talks this Lent at the Centre which seem to have met
with a positive response and I hope that brethren will give the centre's
Lent series again. We had to relocate to the St James' Chapel because
some thieves had stolen lead from the roof of the New Refectory and the
roof was no longer waterproof. No-one was hurt and it can be repaired
but such thieving is rather irritating. I am already getting ready for
Holy Week (I go to St Giles Aintree); please keep us in your
From Fr John CR: "Dear
Companions and friends, I hope that you are all well and now looking
forward to Easter. I will be preaching during Holy Week in
. I am really looking forward to being there in that lovely season and
the Vicar, Fr Andrew Mitcham who is an old student of the College is a
very good friend. One of the benefits of the busy life of a Mirfield
Father is the opportunity is that I get to see other beautiful places
and certainly Walsingham is one such. One which was really a surprise
for me was the visit to
for the Jubilee celebrations on the Consecrated Life. I have always
wanted to see the
but I had thought that it was unlikely at my time of life. Fr George is
a very good guide and interpreter (and cook) and he took all the normal
anxieties out of the trip. Now comes the auction. When I get back from
Holy Week I will have a week’s respite and then my brother will arrive
and we will begin work on the setting up of the stalls in the College.
That is the good news. In years past I have had to do that in two days
not quite knowing what I was doing. This year we have time extra help
and an expert. Things are going quite well I’ve just catalogued
301 and with a collection arriving next week we are likely to pass the
350 number. This is less than previous years but it is very good and
ensures us a result greater than I was expecting when we started this
re is still over six weeks and plenty of time for more to come in. Now
please spread the news to friends and dealers in your area. Get people
to visit the website. Sometimes it is easy to get carried away by the
excitement, the business – even the panic. I need to be reminded of
why we are holding an auction – indeed why we are here at all.
advancement of Christ’s kingdom on earth - Cr and Companions should
have only one object and all our works are to that end. So please pray
for us that we will be true to our calling. I leave you with a
marvellous piece of Companion news just in.
Edith Pearce a Companion in Durham Diocese will achieve her 100th
birthday on 28 March. With every blessing. John CR"
Some of the photogrpahs have been
updated on the slide show on the phototour
Memorial Service for CR Companion Otto Fisher will be on Friday 22 April
at 3pm at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Church Walk,
. As Otto was a regular attendee at CR events and at Mirfield I'm sure
that some of you will want to be there. A website has been set up to
take bookings (presumably mainly to know likely numbers). You can find
the website here: http://www.ottofisher.com/"
(with thanks to
Vanessa for this)
are details of the Companions Festival Day to be held at Southwark
Cathedral on Saturday 17 September 2016. Fr. Iain McKillop, artist, led
a wonderful day on Fra Angelico for Companions at Mirfield last year and
the London Companions, who are organising the Southern Festival Day,
were thrilled when he agreed to be their speaker at Southwark this
September. Members of the Companions' Council met at Southwell Minster
last Thursday and were able to view Fr. Iain's powerful and moving
exhibition for Lent in the Chapter House there. You may like to look at
his website: http://www.mckillop.weebly.com/.
The Southern Regional Festival Day aims to draw in Companions and
Friends of CR from a wide area, some of whom might find it difficult to
travel up to Mirfield for the Festival Day there in July. However, all
Companions meetings in
are open to anyone who is interested in taking part, as is this Festival
Day. A booking form can be found here.
Update from Fr
George, Superior CR: On
Friday the Community had a Safeguarding training day. On Saturday
Brother Jacob renewed his vows for three years. In the evening the
Epiphany Singers gave a fantastic concert of Candlemas music to a large
and very appreciative audience. On Sunday Marc Voase was made a novice.
Prayers please for our postulant Andrew Ellis as we discern with him
whether he is to be made a novice at the beginning of March. Prayers
also pleased for Shaun, who has asked to come as a postulant and is with
us for two weeks while we discern together.
The latest monthly Newsletter
(February 2016) can be found here
You are most welcome to join us for a Quiet Day being held at Burnham
Abbey, the home of the Anglican Religious Community The Society of the
Precious Blood, on Saturday 14 May. Details are here.
CR Companions Quiet Day at Southwark Cathedral 27 February 2016. Details
From Fr Nicolas CR: "At the weekend Fr Dennis CR went down
to Monmouth Cathedral to talk with the Dean, Lister Tonge, about Holy
Week. Dennis is preaching there that week. Fr Peter CR went off to see
and this week has been in
at a series of meetings, some musical which he enjoys and some about
theological training. Today seven of the Brethren went to look at the
building which was once the Hostel in
. Most people don' t know that from 1905 to 1975 we had a hostel in
where young men stayed while they did degrees. Most of them came on to
the College here afterwards.
building is beautiful, designed by
with a somewhat Gothic feel. It was a very happy place.
Brethren who went included Eric - who was a student there in 1948 and
then Warden in around1965 - Crispin - who was also a student - and then
Jacob, Steven and our two postulants Marc and Andrew. Those four had
never seen it so it was exciting for them to see a place which was once
so important in CR's life. We sold the hostel to the University when we
no longer had students wanting this mode of training for Priesthood. It
is now a rather posh student residence.
significance of the hostel is that when CR started training men for the
Priesthood there were no central church funds for this. You paid your
own way, which meant that only those with money could get ordained. CR
started the Hostel and College to give free education for the Priesthood
to those largely working class men who couldn't pay their own way.
Tomorrow I go to
for a Tariro party at St Stephen's Lewisham. A former student, Fr Philip
Corbett, is organising a wine and cheese evening to raise money for us
and find us new friends. It will be fun.
n on Sunday I preach at Grosvenor Chapel as they are going to support
Tariro this Lent. In between there will be various Tariro related
conversations. I hope this helps to spread the Gospel as well!".
From Fr John CR: “Dear Companions and Friends, a belated Happy New Year. I think in
early December I said that I was going to be busy. As the Queen of Sheba
said ‘the half was not told me’.
House was very busy during Advent.
re were extra services and people coming for spiritual direction and
Confession. I had to go to St Stephen’s House where I conducted a
retreat based on Eliot’s ‘Journey of the Magi’. I was well
received and kindly treated by Students and Staff alike. I was very
impressed by the Ordinands. God seems to be calling and sending very
good young men and women and it is good to know that at both
and Mirfield the Catholic vision and fire is still being taught and
caught. Speaking of Catholic fire one of my tasks during Advent was to
write a review of Fr Augustine Hoey’s book ‘Trembling on the Edge of
Eternity’. Still going strong at 100, Augustine was one of the
influences that led me into the Community.
book is enjoyable and inspirational and it is on sale in our bookshop.
Buy one to save you from begging, borrowing or stealing but make sure
that you get to read it. We had a lovely family celebration of the
services were beautiful – the two postulants set up the Crib in Holy
Cross chapel. It is lovely to be in a place where the true nature of
Christmas is centre stage in the mid-winter celebrations. Not that the
secular jollities were left out of the picture. We had a memorable
Christmas Day dinner followed by an afternoon plod across muddy fields
and back in time for afternoon tea with Christmas cake and mince pies. I
had the privilege of cooking the St Stephen’s Day dinner. From
Evensong until Compline we played parlour games. For the next three days
we were in retreat. This was absolute bliss after such a busy half year.
When that was over we went into General Chapter and it was back to
porridge. This year is going to be an interesting one for me. I will be
in just over a week when Fr George and I will be attending a conference
on the Consecrated Life.
has arranged self-catering accommodation next door to St Peter’s! I
get back just in time to conduct a retreat for the Bishop and clergy of
the Diocese of Cashel, Ossory, Ferns (and about half a dozen others). By
then we will be into Lent and preparing for Holy Week, during which I
will be in
n guess what? I return in time to set up the next auction for 9 April.
Believe it or not I am really looking forward to this. My Brother who
conducted the previous auctions will be coming over a week before the
auction and we will be able to do the setting up at a less frantic pace.
Also I will get time to enjoy his company. This, however, is a wake-up
call. D-Day is approaching. Please spread the word and if you were
intending to donate anything to the auction I would be glad to have it
sooner rather than later in order to get the catalogue up-to-date. We
are doing well. By the end of this week I should have passed 250 lots
which suggest a final total in the 300s. All previous auctions were 400+
so we could do with more – especially jewellery and quirky antiques
but don’t worry even if nothing else comes thank you all and Deo
Gratias! John CR”
list of the items received so far for the Auction on 9 April is here
Review and Intercession lists (Epiphany
quarter and 2016
month by month) are now on this site.
Br Stephen CR: "The
Brethren are extremely
grateful for the abundant generosity over the Christmas period with
cards and other tokens of affection and kindness from our many friends
who are associated with us in various ways. We are now back to
‘normal’ with the retreat house and B&B up and running
again, after having some time to ourselves as a Community to “recharge
our own spiritual batteries”. A very warm welcome awaits all of our
guests, visitors and retreatants in our Retreat House".
Pilgrimage to the
Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham 3
to 6 June 2016 now has all our booked places filled. However, if
you would like to join our group you are most welcome but you will need
to make your own arrangements directly with the Shrine. email@example.com
has the details.
The latest monthly Newsletter (January 2016) can be found here
From Fr Nicolas CR: “Chapter has now finished. This time it was about Pope
Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si. I wonder how many of our Companions
have read it. It is really good. It brings together the different issues
of climate change, global warming, degradation of the environment and
reminds us in all kinds of ways of the responsibility we all have to do
something about this. It underlines the urgency by constantly reminding
us that the first people to suffer from these changes are the poor. We
in the North and West are relatively insulated against such changes for
a while but those who live on the margins are not. Not only do they find
it more and more difficult to make a living; loss of resources forces
them to migrate; many of the refugees we see crossing the Mediterranean
are not fleeing war but economic collapse caused by desertification in
North Africa. However, Pope Francis goes further and puts much of the
blame for this growing environmental disaster on the consumerism which
drives the world economies. When you think of it, it is obvious that the
goal of ever increasing growth for economies in a finite world is
unsustainable. Yet that remains the basic aim of all countries. It
can’t be done and even in the short term it is simply destroying the
world. We cannot just tinker with this; we have to change it radically
and the first change has to be ourselves. We need conversion to realise
that we have to think globally, to care about Sister Earth, to care for
our common home and to think about the needs of other people far away.
Pope Francis describes a great deal that has gone wrong, yet this is not
a pessimistic or doom laden encyclical. He reminds us that God is here.
God is working in the world. God has given humankind extraordinary
skills and knowledge. We can put this situation right, at least if we
work with God but we have to start now!
encyclical calls for a whole range of different kinds of actions: (i)
agreements between countries such as the one made in
last month; (ii) continually improving our recycling record and
eliminating waste. It is a shocking fact that a third of the world’s
food is wasted somewhere along the line; (iii) we need much study to
follow up his leads on a developed creation theology and the
spirituality which should underlie the kind of conversion we need; (iv)
much work needs to be done to develop a different kind of economic
system which does not destroy the world we live in. No one pretends this
will be easy but it has to be done. As our brother Jacob reminded us
during the discussion, if we do not care for the world the world
will reject us. It is not the world that will die; we will die out.
Francis also reminds us of the spirituality of St
rese of Lisieux. Little actions are enough to save the world.
re just have to be lots and lots of them".
Fr Oswin CR: We’ve kept warm and dry this Christmas (apart from a
rather wet walk on Christmas day afternoon up the lanes and back across
the fields), played games around the fireside (guess the novel and
author from a precis of the plot), sung God’s praises and celebrated
Mass. Marc and Andrew, our Postulants, set up the crib (traditionally a
task and privilege here which falls to the newest comers) and helped
decorate the large tree which still stands in a corner of the Front
Hall. Mirfield was affected by the floods around Boxing Day: the road to
the railway station was cut off and Kingdom Hall flooded.
Calder was very high and fast but the town hasn’t been nearly as badly
affected as many parts - even locally - and surely some places close to
the hearts of some Companions CR will have suffered much. Please be
assured the thoughts and prayers of the Brothers have been with families
and communities flooded this Christmastide. Now we’ve completed three
days of very welcome post-Christmas day retreat and we’re embarking on
the January Chapter, which will include a discussion of Pope Francis’
timely Encycical Laudato Si’, addressed to all men and women of
good will on the environment and our interconnectedness, our politics
and our economics. Unusually for us, we’ve all read it - I wonder what
will come from such an exercise of seeking together clearer
understanding of God’s purposes and doing so in conscious dialogue
with other Christians.
The Companions List has now been fully updated, again thanks to the work
of CR Companion Linda Blenkinship. Please click
here for the latest version and, if you are able, please pray for
the Companions on the Tuesdays shown. Thank you.
is updated every time new Companions are admitted etc so do please keep
reverting to the List
for the newest
version at all times.