News from the Community of the Resurrection 2011

December 2011 * NEW * Book review (from The Church Times) of "Walter Frere: scholar, monk, Bishop" by Benjamin Gordon-Taylor (College of the Resurrection) and Fr Nicolas Stebbing CR
* WONDERFUL NEWS * They're back! Yes, the Community is back in the newly refurbished church. Photographs here and here taken by Paul David Deakin show the church being prepared for the first act of worship, Solemn Evensong, on the day after the church was handed back to the Community from the builders. Paul's blog can be found here.

Ros Johnson died on 18 December. A CR Companion known to many, Ros was the driving force behind the reformed St Albans CR Companions Group and she will be greatly missed. Sincere condolences to her family.

Information about the next Auction to be held 10 November, 2012

Photographs of the Community Church less than two weeks before being handed back to the Community following re-ordering and re-furbishment

Photographs from the Companions Retreat 9 to 12 December, 2011
Advertisement from The Church Times for a Director of Pastoral Studies at the College of the Resurrection.

From Fr John: "Dear Friends and Companions, I take this opportunity to wish you all a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope that by Christmas we will be back in Church giving thanks for God’s great gift to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. I want to thank all of you for the prayers, support and gifts toward the auction which made a considerable contribution to the Appeal. It was a great year and a great result, not just in cash terms but in fun, camaraderie and entertainment. I enjoyed myself so much that I’m willing to try again. Putting it that way, I hope to encourage you all to play a part in Auction II. Begin with prayer, go on to encouragement and then look around to see if you have anything you would like to give. Offers to collect and deliver will always be welcome. Friends and Companions have been magnificent in their support and the Community has worked very hard too and we have raised more than was expected of us by events and donations but we still have a long way to travel. The church is looking beautiful and I can’t wait for the regular round of praise and worship to be heard in it once more but we will only have completed Phase One. There will still be much needed before we will have completed the restoration and renovation in such a way that our worship and our mission will be effective in the advancement of Christ’s kingdom. That broken watch, that old sword, that box of redundant Dinky Toys could play its part in making ‘the glory of the latter house exceed the glory of the former.’ Watch this space; you’ll be hearing from me. God bless you all. John CR".

The Community has been promised 20 December as the final date of departure of the builders, so CR will be back in the refurbished church in time for Christmas.
At the CR Chapter day held on 18th of November, the Brethren reflected on the rule of St Benedict, as well as the ongoing church restoration work and plans for the future Monastery. Discussions were a fruitful part of the ongoing engagement of the Community's charism and the desire to offer themselves in the service of God's Kingdom. The CR General Chapter takes place from 31 December to 7 January, during which time the Brethren will be discussing their present and future ministries.
Please pray for Peter Nissen who on Saturday evening (3rd) will become Br Daniel when he comes into the CR Novitiate. Peter comes from Denmark and he was actually confirmed an Anglican last Sunday evening.
Advance information about important forthcoming event in 2012 are now on the updated Forthcoming Events page
November 2011 Obituary from the Church Times for long term CR Companion Mary Ullyot.
CR Appeal Newsletter November 2011 here

From Fr George: "The total so far raised by the sponsored bike ride is £2,703.50 plus some gift aid to come. MANY thank to all those who have supported it. George CR".

From Fr John: "To everyone who emailed me in the past couple of weeks – many thanks. I tried to answer them all but time has run out on me. I’m off to Ireland for a fortnight’s study leave. The past year has been incredible. It has seen a great mobilisation of the Companions coming to the help of the Community as we try to make of our church a temple worthy of God’s praise. You have done it with generosity and enthusiasm. I hope that we can keep it up – we have still a long way to go to reach our target – but I am not just thinking about making money even in this good and worthy cause. No, seeing what we can do should spur us to greater effort to love and serve God. Prayer, pilgrimage, service of our neighbour. As we seek to restore the building let us strive to make God’s dwelling place here on earth. Thanks for all that you have done. Now get ready to do more. Love and prayers. John CR"
* A MUST SEE * Video of Fr George's bike ride from Monkwearmouth to Mirfield
From Fr John: "Dear Friends and Companions - By now most of you will have read the reports of the auction in the Church Times or the newspapers. Well, it is better than that. We’ve raised £60,000! A post auction sale and a generous donation turned the amazing £51,000 into the even more staggering sum. I want to thank you all – everyone who prayed for us, donated items, collected stuff or assisted on the day. Believe me it wouldn’t have been possible without you. People have praised me and thanked me and I’m human enough to feel pleased with myself but I know that mine was only a small part of a major effort in which Companions and supporters played a major role. Of equal importance was the ‘home team’ – Community employees, CR and CoR and the ‘Cash Office’ – who bore the weight of the heavy work. I haven’t yet mentioned the star of the show – the auctioneer. We were treated to virtuoso performance that lasted four hours. It was a great day and gentlemen in England then abed have already wept because they couldn’t be part of it. However it may not be too late. Over and over again as people were leaving we were asked ‘when are you having another one?’ My answer on the day was ‘Not in my lifetime’. However, it does seem a shame to pass by so much goodwill and the past year has been such good fun that I am beginning to think that we might try for something next year. If we could attract donations of small objects – rings, medals, silver ware, coins, stamps and religious objects and paintings – we might have a good and exciting auction without the effort of storing and carting around chests of drawers and wardrobes. What I am proposing is that if by New Year I think that I can raise between £7,000 and 10,000 then we’ll be set for another one next autumn. So, please have another look in your attics and glory holes and see what you might like to pass on. £60,000 was a magnificent figure but against £2,000,000 it is a drop in the ocean. We still desperately need your prayers and your help. I have been really surprise at some of the figures. Someone arrived with two suitcases of stuff that his wife told him to get rid of – the lot fetched over £1,500. Someone else arrived with boxes of books and papers that had lain in her garage for over forty years – it sold for £1,200 (but please don’t arrive with boxes of books unless you have consulted me: there are books and Books!). Something that you don’t want might go towards the adornment of God’s house. Thanks once more for all your generosity. Now watch this space. It may not be long before we are back in the saddle again. John CR".
Monk to set off on bicycle of prayer - article from The Church Times

October 2011

Report on the auction in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner here

Photographs from the Auction held of 22 October can be seen here

Further details of Fr George's bike ride route can be found here: Locations en route (revised)    MonkwearmouthtoDarlington.pdf     Darlington to Harrogate Part 1   Darlington to Harrogate Part 2   Darlington to Harrogate Part 3   Darlington to Harrogate Part 4   Harrogate to Mirfield Part 1   Harrogate to Mirfield Part 2

On 17 October a celebration was held for the new book on Walter Frere. Several of the essayists involved in its production gathered at the College with students and brethren and Fr Eric gave us a toast, saying how good it was that at last a book had appeared that presented something of this great and much loved Bishop, priest, scholar and monk to the wider scholarly world.

An addenda to the Auction catalogue of additional items can be seen here. In addition to photographs on this website, photogrpahs of further lots can be seen here.

"From Fr John: "My dear friends, this will be the last time that I write to you before ‘D Day’. I want to thank you all for the support, gifts and prayers that you have offered to make the auction a success. It has been a wonderful year which has given us all a rare opportunity to work together in fellowship and for the glory of God. Now I don’t think that you can do any more than pray that the day will be happy and free from harm. It is in God’s hands but it looks certain to be a great day and I feel confident that we will pass our target. It has been a joy and a privilege to have worked at this for the past year. There are articles that put me in touch with history, with people’s stories and with beautiful and sometimes rare (and always intriguing) objects. I hope that I will see many of you on 22nd. For those who can’t make it, please continue to pray for me and remember that you will all have played your part in restoring our house of prayer to a place where God’s name will be honoured once more. Love and prayers, John CR". Click here for the last edition of "The Woggler".

Inspectors: Mirfield "has turned corner" - article from The Church Times

Please click here for a list of Open Retreats etc at the House of the Resurrection in 2012.

Advertisement here for a new Director of Pastoral Studies at the College of the Resurrection 

The latest edition of the Appeal Newsletter can be found here

 Fr George Guiver is undertaking a fundraising bike ride. This begins at St Bede's Monastery, Monkwearmouth on the 29 October, finishing at Mirfield on the 31st of October. The ride links together the ancient monastic life with the Community's own contemporary monastic life. Press Release here.

September 2011

 From Fr Nicolas: “Thank you so much to everyone who joined in our prayer for Zimbabwe this evening. We were amazed by the scores of people who let us know they were praying and no doubt many more did it without telling us. We felt ourselves part of a great praying company tonight. Zimbabwe needs our prayer but this type of vigil also helps us deepen our own relationship with God and discover new aspects to intercessory prayer. Tonight’s prayer will have built us deeper into the living body of Christ and united us more firmly with our suffering brothers and sisters all over the world. Nicolas CR”.

On 26 September the CR Novitiate are planning a prayer vigil for Zimbabwe from 8.30pm to 10.00pm. The Novices would really appreciate the prayerful support of the Companions and hope that people will be able to set aside time on Monday. The students of the College will be joining the Community in the House Chapel and others are invited to join in prayer at home. The vigil starts with intercessory prayer when a candle will be lit: Companions are invited to do the same. The Community will be keeping silent prayer after compline until 10pm. Further details are here and a guide to the intercessions is here.

On 3 October at the Lampeter Campus, University of Wales , the Prof. Densil Morgan Lecture will be “Lampeter, Mirfield and the World: The Life and Work of Bishop Timothy Rees (1874-1939)”. Details here 

The preliminary catologue for the auction can be found here

Photographs from the CR Study Week can be seen here.

The Community has been pleased to welcome Lord Halifax on his first visit there. He and CR share the patronage of at least one church and his great grandfather was a great patron of the catholic understanding of the Church of England and friend of Walter Frere - together they initiated the Malines conversations in the 1920s. This family tradition was carried on by the grandfather of the present Earl, who was Foreign Secretary and Viceroy of India. The visit included a tour of the Church, which is now emerging as a distinct litugical space - the floor is down, underfloor pipes and all, the beam is in place for the balcony extension and the floor-shapes for the font and high altar clearly marked out. The plasterer is at work this week-end. Another visitor was Mr Andrew Shepherd, an architect representing the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust. We hope they are keen to make a grant, especially for the 'boring things' others have no interest in, such as the roof. Mr Shepherd, also on his first visit, was greatly struck by the interior, the romantic fall of the light through the dust and the architectural style, which he described as 'muscular romanesque'.

A collection of essays on Walter Frere, which has been a long time in the preparation, is finally due to be published. Information will appear in the next edition of the CR Quarterley Review.

New signage is now in place around the grounds. These are made from recycled plastic bags and are a light wood colour, giving CR something of the flavour of a National Trust property (which is not surprising as Guy Laurie, General Manager, previously worked for the National Trust). Meanwhile the apple harvest is rolling in. Brothers and guests have been busy preparing them under the eye of Fr Thomas for the freezer as well as turning them into jam, juice etc. 

Update from Roger Turner on Shining House, Uganda (see June 2011 news below) by Overseas Companion Roger Turner: "My three year visa has now expired and I have returned to England and will only be able to go back to Uganda for a month at a time on a visitors' visa. I am grieved that I cannot leave Shining House in a better financial state but for various reasons we have overspent again this year and although the Friends have given with wonderful generosity, to the tune of over £18,800, very little of that is left and there are next term's fees to be paid. As things are, only those students specifically sponsored will be able to stay at school. It is possible that the O and A level candidates will be allowed to stay but they will not be given their results next year until all this year's debts are paid off. So I appeal once again for funds to keep Shining House thriving. Nothing has changed in the ways you can give to Shining House but in case you need further information, the Secretary to the Trustees of the Friends, Mr Roger Collor, will be glad to help you". He can be contacted at roger.collor@btinternet.com .

Leaflet about catering at CR

Comprehensive update: (i) This weekend there is a North Province Vocations Conference - with a good mix of old and young – lead by Bishop John Packer of Ripon and Leeds . The great thing is that it is taking place at CR, thus bringing in people who might not have thought of visiting; they may wish to return. The use of the retreat house has reduced, for a whole lot of reasons; among them that retreatants are expected to walk down to the new refectory and back for meals. However, when the Church is able to be used again, the Community will have its refectory back in use and this can accommodate the brethren plus a retreat group. (ii) The latest news on the church refurbishment is that the underfloor heating is in and the next layer is complete for the Resurrection chapel. Ceramic tiles will be the last stage.  Fr George has gone on holiday but before he went he could be seen emerging from the church from time to time, with a yellow safety jacket and hard hat (not in a cassock) looking much like a workman! (iii) The computers were off for two or three days, while the server was being rebuilt. (iv) The bookshop has now been taken over by Guy Laurie, General Manager, assisted by Peter Nissen, the Community’s new 35 year old Danish postulant. The aim is to make it more popular and attractive; a real source of income. Guy is going to recruit volunteers to assist, which will help sales. (v) Thomas CR’s production of jams, jellies and chutneys is under full swing, with big crops of plums and apples as a result of his skilful attention. Thomas won a prize for one of them at the Mirfield Show, the Sunday before last. The jars are on sale in the bookshop/reception area, where they are joined by give-away windfall apples. (v) To add to CR’s international flavour, it has - as guests - Sister Ruth, a veteran visitor, and Sister Grace, a novice, both of the Order of St Helena in Augusta, Georgia, a women’s community in USA: two contemplatives abroad! Exchanges between religious houses, including when effected through personal desire, as here, can be really encouraging.

Dear Friends and Companions. After nearly a year the auction is almost on us. We have some really super stuff and it promises to be great day. I have still plenty of room and I will still accept donations up to the last minute so keep them coming. Thank you all for your help, your support and your prayers. Here is my latest and very beautiful acquisition (Flagellation of Jesus, in Ivory). With every good wish. John CR

A Wine Tasting event will be held on Friday 18 November in The Great Hall at the College of the Resurrection. Details here or from Guy Laurie.

Look North will be interviewing at CR on 19 September regarding the forthcoming auction

Interview in The Church Times with the Rev Thierry Guillemin. Thierry used to be a monk at the monastery of the Grand Chartreuse (where "Into Great Silence" was filmed) but converted to Anglicanism and eventually found his way to Mirfield (where this webmaster first met him in 2007). He trained at the College of the Resurrection is is now married and is an Anglican priest in the Diocese of Bradford.

August 2011

Article on UK Auctioneers website regarding the forthcoming Sale of the Centenary

On Sunday Evensong we were joined by F Gregory Knowles, young black T-shirted Catholic Parish Priest from St Aidan’s Mirfield and a large selection of his congregation, who like all church people make a contribution to the life of the local community far beyond the preparation of their numbers.  We hope this won’t be a one-off event. 

Photographs of the former CR choir screen installed in St Cyprian’s Nottingham .

*The Community has been joined by a “postulant” (pre-novice) Peter Nissen, a musicologist from Denmark, joining the two Americans and one Irishmen, one Zimbabwean and one South African to give an international flavour. His English is perfect but the adjustment to British culture as well as to  Anglicanism and CR is a big one. So much of CR life is counter-cultural today, in the way it wasn’t for the founding brethren, nor indeed until recent times (the majority of brethren were used orderly, disciplined homes and institutional education – which have largely disappeared from  the world of today).

Piles of apples and plums are ripening daily, also mulberries and figs. Thomas CR is indefatigable in turning them into delicious jams and jellies, of a variety of flavours, yet there are still plenty to eat fresh!

A number of wedding receptions continue to take place in the “Great Hall” (aka the College Refectory) and New Refectory but only while College is away. Some are run by the organisation Dine, who bring in all their own equipment, staff and supplies and give the Community a fixed rental for the event. Others, more profitably, are run by CR's own staff. Details are at http://www.monastery-stay.co.uk. Brethren whose rooms overlook the front lawn are liable to see decorative groups of grey tail-coated ushers, smart guests and lovely brides posing for photos and to hear the throb of music in the night!

Hostel of the Resurrection - memories courtesy of Canon Sydney Connolly

Please click here to see an edited version of the talk given by the Revd Iain McKillop at the 2011 Companions Day (with grateful thanks to Ian for supplying this)

The 2010 Accounts are now available to view here

Mirfield Brethren hope bidders find romance: article from The Church Times 29 July 2011

A letter from a Companion (July 2011)

July 2011

Photographs from the Companions' Day. Photographs taken on that day of the exterior of the church can be found on the Phototour page.

Planning permission for the new Monastery has been granted (subject to agreement on the type of material to be used). This is another major milestone reached.

* UPDATED * Br Barnabas has beemn released from his vows and has now left the Community. The parting was amicable and everybody wishes him well - it was mutually agreed that experience showed that CR was not the right place for him in the longer term.  Please keep Barnabas in your prayers as he moves back into ”ordinary” life. 

Friday 22 July: Today the Community celebrated the Feast of S. Mary Magdalene as well as the Centenary of the laying of the Foundation Stone of the Chapel of the Resurrection. Brethren took the opportunity of seeing archival photographs of the event in the Community Room including the actual trowel used by the Visitor, Bishop Gore, when he laid the Foundation Stone in 1911.

Photograph: Fr George ( Superior ) and Appeal Administrator Adele Hannah inspect the current works in the Community's church.

Press Release regarding the forthcoming Auction. Please click here for photographs of a selection of items which will appear in the auction. To register for a full catalogue as soon as it is available, please e-mail appeal@mirfield.org.uk

The 2012 Companions Pilgrimage to Walsingham will take place from Friday 8 June to Monday 11 June, 2012. This is the weekend following the Late Spring Bank Holiday. Exact details about prices, etc. will be received by Geoff Dignum round about Christmas/New Year. Once these details are known, he will pass on the information and will look forward to deposits of £30 each. If you wish to make a provisional booking (deposits later!) please e-mail Geoff

Extracts from the Church Times 15 July: Fr Thomas at the General Synod - 1. Comments from debate on Methodists 2. Comments from debate on Eucharistic Prayers 3. Photograph

From Fr Nicolas 16 July: "The CR Brethren have all been in retreat this week, a retreat led by Sr Meg Evening. Today is the last day of retreat; tomorrow we get back to the business of General Chapter. We are looking forward to seeing lots of our friends at the weekend – Companions Day on Saturday and Fun Day on Sunday. Monday 25th is our Foundation Day, when we celebrate 119 years since the first six Brethren made their vows in Pusey House Oxford ".

From Ben Bradshaw 15 July: "Hello! I am in Kidderminister tonight with a priest who has kindly put me up for the night. I have had a room every night and have been amazed at how kind people have been. I have met many wonderful people already. Physically it is very hard. I have covered 123 miles in five days, which has been very hard on my feet and legs. Please keep praying for me. Ben". Please do sponsor Ben with a donation. You can do so at www.justgiving.com/Ben-Bradshaw.  Alternatively you can make cheques payable to- CR ZIMBABWE ACCOUNT and post them to Ben Bradshaw, College of the Resurrection, Stocks Bank Road, Mirfield, West Yorkshire WF14 0BW. Thank you.

Article in the Church Times about Ben Bradshaw's walk from Mirfield to Buckfast Abbey in Devon

* IMPORTANT * From Fr John Gribben CR: "Dear Friends and Companions, it is quite some time since I last reported to you. Life has been a bit hectic at CR and in the ‘auction rooms’ in particular. This is good news because it means that business is booming. At this date we have about 250 lots many of them exciting and interesting and some of them very valuable. With several items promised we seem well on our way to the magical number of 300 which will guarantee an enjoyable auction and we hope make a significant contribution to the church appeal. The donation of several items relating to a chaplain in World War 1 gave me the idea for a talk at the Mirfield Centre on the evening of 27 September. ‘The History of War in a Dozen Objects’ will give a preview of a selection of auction material and will put us in touch with history through the very things that were on the field or the home front. This is not just the swords and the shells but the bandages, the letters, the poems the comics, the ration books and the toys. Of course we are still appealing for items. Please still check your attic, your spare room and your jewel box. I’m not ask for things that you treasure or things that your children will want but there are many treasures and keepsakes that people have forgotten about and which would make a valuable contribution to our funds. There may be a sword or bayonet tucked away somewhere that certainly would be welcome. Medals, silver and gold items we can turn into bricks and mortar. Small can be beautiful – stamp collections, coins, cigarette cards and Dinky toys will be useful. Please don’t bring me clothes (unless they are antique) or electrical goods or modern crockery – there is a limit to the trips I can make to the charity shop. I do welcome postcards, especially older ones and badges of any sort and religious medals – in each case I am trying to make up boxes of them which tempt a certain kind of dealer. We are now getting quite near to the auction date. It is becoming exciting but now publicity becomes crucial. We have lots of lovely things, we have lots that will bring in £10 and we have lots that should bring in thousands but people have to know that we have got them.  So it is Auction Stations! Please do your bit – pass the word and print off copies of this notice and pass them on to your local flea market, antiques dealer and second-hand furniture shop. Meanwhile, feast your eyes on the latest additions.

The General Chapter meets from 5 July to 25 July.

Update: The newly poured concrete floor which has been installed in the Resurrection Chapel is now complete. The old nave floor, which had to be completely removed due to cracked beams, will require a brand new floor. It is hoped that Phase One of the project will be completed by Advent Sunday. Application for the granting of planning permission to build the new monastery has been moved forward for final consideration.

June 2011

Appeal Newsletter June 2001 here

Details of students and former students of the College of the Resurrection who are being ordained this Petertide can be found here

Photographs from the CR London Companions wine tasting evening 10 June 2011

To see photographs of the Companions Pilgrimage to Walsingham 2011, please click here.

A short history of Shining House, Kisiita Village, Masindi, Uganda by Overseas Companion Roger Turner - Part 1 here    Part 2 here.

May 2011

Plans for new Monastery go to Kirklees Council - as reported by the BBC here

A very full round-up, courtesy of Fr Oswin: "The builders have lifted up the stone flooring of the Church and discovered that the sanctuary area was actually concrete made to look like stone. We're hoping there aren't too many other suprises to be unearthed in the refurbishing of this 100-year old church. We have had a cane fence erected in front of the Church to hide unsightly builders' lorries and skips from wedding guests taking photographs. We are also having a new walk-in bath installed - particularly appreciated by older brothers - but as it is going in to an old building (our 'new' wing) there were a few surprises there as well which required, for instance, a level cement floor to be made - so a few more days of dust and banging in the House. One or two brothers have sensibly gone away: Vincent with Philip are enjoying some days in the Peak District and Dennis is having his first extended holiday since he came to us 18 months ago - his parents have come over from USA. The College is at the business end of the year with last essays being handed in and staff writing reports - two more weeks to go, so a very crammed term. There has been a good number of applicants for next year and we wait to see how many are accepted by the Church and how many choose to come in September. This weekend is one in which some of the Yorkshire Ministry Course students come on retreat; it is good to have them with us in a different mode from that of being taught and it means they have the chance to join us for services. Our new cook started a couple of weeks ago - Paul who is also a musician and who has cooked in 4-star hotels - so visitors need not expect that a stay in a monastery will be too gruelling. His arrival completes the kitchen team which is now working well and with increased demand under Ben, the Chef-Manager".

The Centenary Church Appeal is now on Facebook. Click here to link:

  

Please click here for some incredible photographs of the interior of the Community Church as the reordering and refurbishment takes place.

Read the CR Journey of Overseas Companion Donna Crow and how her relationship with CR led to is the development of "The Monastery Murders"!

From Fr John CR: "Dear friends and supporters, may I wish you every blessing as we approach the Paschal Mystery and celebrate once more the death and Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour? During Lent we have been doing the Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings as we have done since I joined the Community – only this year we had to use even more of our imagination as we were not in Church where, in any case, the Stations have been removed pending the renovations. It has actually been delightful to be led in these meditations by brethren who have used talent and inventiveness to bring the story of the Cross alive for us. Nevertheless it was a reminder to us of how much we miss our church where beauty, light, space and human art combine to proclaim and celebrate salvation history and I know that we will all be glad to sing Te Deum when we return to it in the latter part of the year. Our thanks go to you for all the support and prayers you have given on our behalf. Personally I want to thank you for help and donations given to the auction. The ‘five gold rings’ that I appealed for at Christmas have already come in along with several more. We have Wes Brown football boots (Man United), Jeffrey Archer’s autograph and a bottle of wine autographed by the prime-minister. There is a boy’s edition of Don Quixote autographed from Cardinal Manning to his brother. We have the promise of a valuable painting by a modern Yorkshire landscape artist – Simon Palmer. We have toys and games, books and comics, vestments and church ornaments, scrapbooks and postcard collections. If you are looking for it I’m sure that I have got it. If you want it you have only got to bid. Please keep the gifts coming, keep praying for us and come and enjoy yourself on the fun day on 25 July 25 and at the auction on 22 October. With the blessings of Easter, John Cr". Photographs of some auction items are here.

Update on the Centenary Church Appeal here

A brief report and photograph of the College of the Resurrection 2011 Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Walsingham can be found here

April 2011

The London Chapter of the Companions of the Community of the Resurrection invite you to an Evening of Wine & Opera ('Saints and Sinners’) at 7.30pm on Friday 10 June in the Garry Weston Library at Southwark Cathedral. In aid of The Community of the Resurrection’s Centenary Church Appeal. Speaker: Maggie McNie, MW. Wines will be accompanied by arias, which in every case have a connection, however tenuous, with the wine. A light supper is included in the ticket price, which is £20 per person if bought before 31 May and £25 thereafter. Tickets available from Vanessa Dixon: vanessa.m.dixon@btinternet.com. Further information available from Maggie McNie: maggiemcniemw@hotmail.com. NB: Numbers are limited: ‘First come first served’!

An Easter message from Fr Nicolas CR, Chaplain to the Companions: "Happy Easter everyone. Christ is risen! What does that mean to you? Tomorrow I shall preach in Llandaff Cathedral the news that we Christians now have a really good reason not to be frightened of death but to look forward to death; death for Christians does not just give us eternal life; life going on for ever could be quite boring. The difference for us is that we shall have eternal life with Jesus and we know from the Gospels that Jesus was a simply wonderful person. We know too that his Father is like him. So, to have eternal life with them will be like having best friends, lover and everything good we can think of about human relationships rolled up in one and given an infinite degree. This is why Christians should be full of hope; we know that death is not the end but really does usher in something even better than the best of all possible earthly lives. Isn't that something to tell the world?"

A further update from Fr Nicolas: "This morning I went to Mass in Welsh. It is so fascinating to hear a language so different from any other I have known, being spoken naturally by people who love it. I do think it such a pity that loads of Welsh people are still prejudiced against the language and won't learn it. However, many others now are trying to learn it and Welsh medium schools are bringing good quality Welsh back into the nation, so there is hope for the language yet. I go on loving being here. The beautiful weather helps but the people are so lovely too. Yesterday I went to lunch with some parishioners out in the country; they have converted a barn into a marvellous house of a rather French farmhouse style. Sitting out in the garden eating a glorious lunch (Lent was suspended as I couldn't say no to such good food and nice wine!) was magical and Elizabeth and her husband and student son were a delight. Today I am going to lunch with an old student of the College of the Resurrection. There are a lot of old students from the College scattered around Wales and a lot of goodwill towards the Community from the days when we worked in Wales , 40 years ago. It would be lovely if we could renew our presence in Wales , somehow. It depends of course on getting more vocations to the Community, particularly Welsh ones. So perhaps anyone who reads this may start praying for that?"

A further update from Fr Nicolas: "Llandaff Cathedral really is good. They are proper Anglicans here and kneel to pray and to receive communion. They also turn up in good numbers; we had about 30 at mass last night which is good for a weekday, I think. This morning I went to mass celebrated in Welsh, which was a lovely experience. The Cathedral has only a small number of Welsh speakers so they only have one or two services a week in that language. I am now going off to a really nice priest and his wife who are going to give me a Welsh lesson. It's a complicated language but full of interesting features, not least that it has survived and is growing. To be a Bishop in this country you have to be able to speak Welsh. This morning I also went to the local church primary school.  It is interesting to see how good an influence church can have on a school. This school does a lot of fundraising for projects in Africa and so have offered to take on Tariro for Harvest festival this year. Tariro needs this help in fundraising so that will be great. Life is not all serious. I watched Titanic until midnight (I'd never seen it before) and so spent most of the night awake grieving the death of Jack Dawson. I'm not good at separating film from reality and still have to remind myself it is only a story; mind the real thing was real enough and the film conveys the horror of the sinking very well. I preach again tonight, this time on "blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness”. Yesterday they got "blessed are the poor" with illustrations from Zimbabwe . Today will also have illustrations from Zimbabwe ."

From Fr Nicolas: "About half the brethren have scattered round England - and Fr Eric to Spain - to preach in Holy Week. I am in Llandaff, at the Cathedral. It's a marvellous place. English people are often snooty about the Welsh and especially about the Welsh church. Well, yesterday we had about 50 communicants at 8.00am, a completely full cathedral at 9.00am with lots of young families and another full Cathedral at 11.00am. This morning a good congregation turned up for mass and there will be another mass this evening at which I preach. The Dean, John Lewis is a very good chap, very efficient and very keen on raising money for good causes in Africa , as well as successfully raising money for a huge new organ. Lots of lovely people and I have found a very pleasant lady to teach me Welsh, so it looks like being an interesting week."

The Community has resubmitted its planning application for the new Monastery and these are to be considered by the Planning Sub-Committee of Kirklees Council's Heavy Woollen Area during the summer. It is intended that within a few years the building's energy needs will be met from sustainable sources to be developed for the site as a whole. The monastery will incorporate facilities for sick or infirm brethren and guest facilities for some of the many people who come to stay.

From Fr Nicolas: "Worksop Priory may be described as a CR church. The previous Vicar, Andrew Wagstaff and the present Vicar, Nicholas Spicer, were trained at our College here; so were the previous two curates Andrew Howard and Simon Lumby and the present curate Philip Corbett. Also another recent student, Stephen Edmonds, now of St Ignatius Sunderland , discovered the faith as a chorister at Worksop Priory. So it was with a certain feeling of ‘home from home’ that I went there this past weekend to preach and to talk to the folk there about Zimbabwe . The people of the Priory have been generous to Zimbabwe in the past and this year are aiming to raise £1,000 for the Tariro charity. When I left at the end of an excellent parish lunch and raffle they were within £40 of their target. Meanwhile the Methodist church in Worksop where Stephen Edmonds’ family worship have also raised £1,000 for a specific project within Tariro so I went there as well to receive the gift and tell them a little of our work. People in this country are amazingly generous. The sermon I preached is included here and tries to show how Zimbabwe , despite all the disaster stories, is also a place where Jesus is clearly present as ‘the Resurrection and the Life’.”

The new website for people interested in visiting the Community www.monastery-stay.co.uk has now come fully on line.

Recently the church has been strictly off limits, because asbestos is being removed. This has been necessary before any new construction inside the church can be commenced. The removal of the asbestos is scheduled to be finished by very soon and it is hoped that the levelling of the floors will commence immediately thereafter. The completion date for phase 1 will hopefully be in early November.

Adele Hannah is the new Fundraising secretary for the Centenary Church appeal. Adele is working at CR one day a week. She is skilled on the computer and is becoming familiar with the appeal's data programmes, which will be beneficial to the administrative functioning of the Appeals office.

March 2011

Please see the new Special Courses Leaflet for details of all courses taking place at Mirfield in 20011/12, many for the first time.

Fr Nicolas says "I went in the other day expecting the church to look very bleak and battered (following the removal of the altars, screen, choir stalls etc) but actually it is looking good – clean and spacious and rather beautiful. You can begin to see what the newly restored church will look like, curiously warm and friendly with everything united round a centre instead of dispersed around the edges".

From Fr John CR: "My dear friends and supporters, the state of the auction is healthy and we are on track to make a great contribution to the Church Appeal. We are all looking forward to being back in our familiar place of worship before the end of the year when it will be a joy to offer to God our praise and thanksgiving for all his gifts to us. When the Jews returning from exile were disheartened the prophet Haggai encouraged them by assuring them that the glory of the new temple would far exceed the glory of the old. We want our church to be an act of worship that acknowledges God’s glory and what we raise at the auction can only seem like a drop in the ocean but our sincere and strenuous efforts will find his acceptance and his blessing. We have had several generous offers and promises since I last wrote. I want to thank everyone who has donated, advocated on our behalf, helped with the delivery or in any other way helped or encouraged  those of us engaged in the ‘Sale of the Centenary’. Without wanting to sound greedy I want to say ‘please don’t give up’. Remember us in your prayers, remember us when you see that auctionable item that you had forgotten was there and remember us to your friends. As I’ve mentioned before one of the big tasks will be publicity. Nearer the time we will have to advertise and distribute posters and leaflets but to get into the press and other media would be a great bonus, so if you have any journalist friends or any ideas I’d be very glad to hear about them". An updated selection of items for auction can be seen here.

Fr Nicolas's report on visit to Zimbabwe January/February 2011

Update on the Centenary Church Appeal here

From Ben Bradshaw, a Student at the College of the Resurrection: "I am so pleased to show you what your most generous donations and sincere prayers have already achieved at Tongogara Refugee Camp, Zimbabwe. These recent photos show us that the building work is now well underway in the Camp and that solid foundations for the Church have been laid. So far we have raised an incredible £8,200 towards the project. I will keep you updated with further photos and news of development as soon as we receive it. Thank you all so much. In Christ, Ben". Photo 1  Photo 2  Photo 3

February 2011

As at 25 February there are still three places left for the Companions Pilgrimage to Walsingham in June. Please e-mail geoffdignum@hotmail.co.uk urgently if you would like to come along this year. Geoff must have details by 5 March at the latest. Further details can be found here.

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Julius Makoni, of the Anglican Diocese of Manicaland in Zimbabwe , courtesy of Fr Nicolas.

From John CR: “My Dear Friends. Previously I suggested that if your true love sent to you five gold rings it would be a good idea to donate them to the auction. Well, four gold rings came in and a couple of gold watches. Thanks to everyone who has helped and encouraged us so far. I reported also that following my Brother’s visit the Community has felt that it can make a major contribution towards the success of the auction. We feel heartened that we have found a way of playing our part when others are making sacrifices on our behalf. The Community has given me permission to put a large number of items – mostly of antique furniture into the auction and we will be looking how we can make further contributions. On top of this, individual brethren have been donating items of significant interest and value. So we are well on our way to achieving our target of £10,000. Of course I cannot be satisfied with this! Call me greedy if you like but such an amount will only go a very small way to paying what is needed to make the Church of the Resurrection a place worthy of God’s praise and fit for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel in the 21st Century. That’s what it is all about isn’t it? As I wrote recently to one Irish bishop, I have been amazed at the amount of cheek that I have. Put me in the street and tell me to beg for my bread and I think that I would starve. Faced with the task of making CR effective as a place where people will find peace, reconciliation and healing I have no embarrassment in asking you to give more. Help us to double, treble our target. Make my Brother work hard on 22 October. We need your love, we need your prayers, and we need your help”. Woggler Edition 3 here and update to the selection of items in the Auction here.

Advertisement in the Church Times for a new Principal for the College of the Resurrection

On 9th February, the brethren held an all day Chapter meeting. It was decided that the planning application for the New Monastery, which had temporarily been withdrawn for future consideration, would be resubmitted. There will be some simplifications to the design (for cost cutting reasons) but the basic facility will remain almost the same as originally proposed. Some work has been done upon updating a couple of bathrooms in the existing Monastery, which were greatly in need of repair.

The Community church has now been stripped of all its interior furnishings; the altars, choir stalls, benches, nave screens and other smaller items have all been removed.

The Links and Resources page has been reconfigured slightly and new material added

The Community is planning an enhanced Retreat House programme to include five day courses with the intention of offering a dozen or so in 2012 and thereafter, in addition to the usual retreats and the Mirfield Centre  programme of day events. Three or four 'taster' courses are planned for this year, the first two of them probably in June - one in 'Greek and the New Testament' to coincide with the 400th anniversary celebrations of the King James Authorised Version of the Bible and one to combine painting, praying, walking and gardening. More information in due course.

Inspections are once again in the offing - this year two lots, as the Yorkshire Ministry Course is being inspected at the same time. 

Work has been underway for a couple of weeks preparing the Church for the builders by removing the former furniture etc. - a sight at once sad, remembering the call to prayer its previous form offered and joyful, in anticipation of the form (and worship) to come. It is remarkable how banging and crashing can take place in the Church and those in the House be perfectly unaware of any sound (as was found out previously on youth occasions when a rock band has played in there at midnight!). Also the central corridor of the House is being repainted and should lose its yellow tinge this coming week and (finally) look fresh and inviting again.

Barnabas CR is due back from Zimbabwe this weekend and the Brothers look forward to hearing from him of this first exposure to an African land and church. Nicolas CR stays on for a few more weeks.

January 2011

Update from John CR on the Sale of the Centenary including a photograph of him and his Auctioneer brother as the pews are removed

Father Peter CR has had to accept the more than full time appointment of acting college principal, since the resignation of Fr Joe Kennedy (who is moving to a parish in Cheshire ). Fr Peter continues as Precentor but Fr Oswin CR has taken his place as Prior. Ben Simmons has taken over as Chef Manager and has already made his mark with sumptuous puddings!

Work on the Community church is beginning – in faith! Some urgently needed re-decoration is happening in the house, as is essential  to encourage a flow of guests upon whom the Community relies so much for  income and to whom - in any event - the Community has the Christian and monastic duty of hospitality.

On 19 January the Mirfield Centre was the venue for the third meeting of Imams and clergy convened by Bishop Tony Bishop of Pontefract. It was lead by a very distinguished Imam who heads up, as far as may, be Muslims in this country. He spoke very frankly about the situation where Muslims are a young and growing minority (in Kirklees 20%) and the importance of correct, unbiased teaching about the message of Mohammed the Prophet and of the Koran itself.  Any anti-Christian actions or even feelings, least of all killing, cannot find their sources there. In the Koran, Jesus is mentioned 63 times - all positively - and Mohammed himself only three times. The first mention of Christians is when Mohammed tells his followers that they will be received with affection by Christians. Recognition of Mohammed as a Prophet came first from a Christian hermit. The speaker commended the practice of teaching about Islam coming from Mohammedans themselves, not from Christians. An Imam based locally (in Batley) spoke of the importance not only of inter-faith dialogue but also of intra-faith dialogue and the exciting breakthrough just in the last three months of getting all the leaders of Mosques in Kirklees together. In these times of increasing economic pressure on the less economically secure and younger members of society, improving relations between the Faiths is of urgent importance.

Keep your eyes on this new website www.monastery-stay.co.uk which will market the College and other buildings for wedding receptions and conferences.

From Oswin CR: "We are enjoying Christmas season, the second in our house chapel. The fire in the hall, with tree decorated and twinkling in the corner (and sometimes chocolates on the table) is always a popular meeting place at this time. On Christmas Day evening we gathered here for poetry (some of it comic) and wine. Earlier a group of brothers had cleared their heads by going out along the snowy lanes for a walk together. Now we are in Chapter, looking again at our building plans and finances and looking forward to work commencing on the Church this Spring. Br Simeon OSB from Trier , who is a town-planner, is with us to help our thinking along and it is good to have his company and learn how the brothers in Trier and on the Huysburg are doing. We also have a student staying for a fortnight who is working among asylum seekers in Leeds - a very good reminder for us of the life of our incarnate Lord and the Holy Family". 

Equipping Mirfield to Serve the Church - letter from Fr George Guiver, Superior CR in The Church Times 24 December 2010

Details about this year's CR Companions Pilgrimage to Walsingham is as follows: Dates - Friday 3 June (first meal supper) to Monday 6 June (after breakfast) (Saturday & Sunday - full board). Prices - Adults £156.10. Deposits - £30 per person (cheques payable to the Community of the Resurrection).  Send via Geoff Dignum. Pilgrim Booking Forms - Available through Geoff Dignum, 11 Copper Beeches, Milton Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 5LW (e-mail: geoff.dignum@gmail.com). Please ask Geoff for a form as soon as possible, as these must reach the Shrine with deposits by their deadline. Deadline - Forms and deposits to Geoff by 25 February, 2011.

The January Chapter of the Brethren meets from 30 December 2010 to 7 January 2011.

The Companions List has now been fully updated, courtesy of Linda Blenkinship. Please click here for the latest version.

News from 2015 is here  

News from 2014 is here  

News from 2013 is here  

News from 2012 is here

News from 2010 is here

News from 2009 is here

News from 2008 is here