Companions of the Community of the Resurrection (CCR)


News from the Community of the Resurrection 2013  

December 2013 The preliminary catalogue for the next CR charity auction on 29 March 2014 is here
From Br Jacob NovCR: Tomorrow we say goodbye to Anna Sikorska, our 2013 Artist in Residence. The 'Artist in Residence' scheme is organised with the Northern Sacred Arts Foundation, chaired by CR Companion Matthew Askey. We have very much enjoyed having Anna with us and engaging with her art. Anna has produced a range of art installations located around the site – please see the photographs of the Stations of the Cross in the Quarry Fives Court and of us making Salt Dough models in the kitchen. Anna is also making the crib for the Community Church . Anna has had a workshop in the house and Fr John is looking forward to moving into the space as he collects more items for the Auction. The College students have departed for their Christmas break and some of the domestic staff are now on holiday. Tony the Gardener has chopped the wood for the fire and Michael, a volunteer, has kindly stacked the wood in the porch. We won't be lighting the fire until Christmas Day - one of the school children who visited earlier this year told me it was because we had to wait for Santa to visit first! The Christmas tree has arrived ready to adorn the hall on Christmas Eve. Until then it is still very much Advent, purple vestments for Solemnities and the singing of the 'Great O Antiphons'. We have delayed sending out information about our Pilgrimage t' Resurrection so that it doesn't get lost in the Christmas post. However, if you know of a parish Priest or group who would like information on how to make a Pilgrimage to CR, then please e-mail me or Fr Nicolas and we'll put you on the mailing list. Even though the diary is already looking full for next year we're still able to offer a few weekend and mid-week Pilgrimages for 2014 but please don't be disappointed if you can't book for next year! I know it isn't Christmas quite yet but I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Companions and friends a blessed and glorious Christmas. I look forward to seeing you in the New Year. 
From Fr Nicolas CR: Please visit the Facebook page for Tariro here:
The College is in its last week of term, culminating in a Christmas dinner and the College Review. As soon as that is over, Fr Peter CR will go off to West Malling to see the Benedictine nuns. Fr Vincent is still mostly in bed and unable to do anything for himself. The re are excellent nurses coming from outside to care for him, even at 3.00 in the morning so the Community is giving him food and company from time to time. He seems happy in a quiet sort of way. The Community has received a couple of quite serious enquirers of late, at least one of whom may enter the Novitiate before long. The retreat house will be closed just before Christmas so the Community will be together abd have its own retreat. The n follows General Chapter until Epiphany. 
Following in the footsteps of CR Companion Donna Fletcher Crow, another CR Companion has now published a book! Details can be found here. The Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield are mentioned in the book more than once!
The quarry theatre is now clear of trees and ivy. It looks what it is - huge.  The re has been a visit by invited people whom it is hoped will support the restoration work. Here is what Sir Patrick Stewart has written about it: “Most actors have a memory of their first stage appearance…usually a school hall or a boy scout hut or drama club. My memory is a little different because it happened in an important and famous location; the Quarry The atre in the grounds of The Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield, West Yorkshire . The Community is a world renowned Anglican Monastery and Seminary, perhaps being most remembered as the home base of Bishop Trevor Huddleston, whose anti-Apartheid campaigning in South Africa in the 1950's stirred the world. The Quarry is an open air space on the south hillside of The Community grounds. It bears all the visible signs of what it once was, a quarry for local stone masons. It is an amphitheater, following the pattern of the ancient Greek and Roman theaters, although very much smaller, with a flat open space below the tiered seating area. On the other side of the space is a natural 'platform' which serves as the stage. The Community and the Fathers have always played a significant role in Mirfield's life, so it was a natural choice as the location for The Mirfield Pageant, a performance depicting the colourful history of Mirfield from the Middle Ages until after the Second World War. All the different drama groups and societies - there were eleven in Mirfield - took part. I was in an early scene depicting the dangerous life of the roads and highways in and around our town. I was one of a group of thugs and robbers who held up the coach of the Lady of the Manor and my character was called Tom O'Towngate - which was appropriate because my family lived in Towngate, at that time a rather poor quarter of old houses not far from The Community. I don't recall if I had a line to speak but I do remember every moment of rehearsals and the great day of the Pageant. Little did I, or anyone else, realise that this was the debut performance of a child who in November 2013 opened on Broadway, New York City as a leading actor with his friend and colleague, Sir Ian McKellen. A long and happy road travelled”.
This week the editors read the proofs of the Epiphany edition of the CR Quarterly Review. The re were the usual B & B guests over the weekend; one couple only got as far as the College car park and had to be rescued from there at 10 pm. Over the weekend their continental breakfasts are set out in thermos flasks etc and these must be cleared and washed up afterwards (during the week all this is done by the marvellous top cleaning lady Sam, who makes a point of coming in early). One booking insisted on arriving between 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm when the Community is all in church, so this caused problems. On Sunday morning after Sung Mattins and Sung Mass and clearing the B & B breakfasts, the Refectory had to be hovered and layed for lunch. In the afternoon there was an Advent Carol Service at 4pm - about 110 people came. Fr John CR and Fr George, Superior CR, respectively led the two parts of the service, including a pilgrimage procession round the church. With the space, light and acoustics all marvellous and the bigger organ with a huge range of sounds, all might have been designed expressly for such events.  The n there was the Companions Retreat with eight Companions (all meals in silence). After that, the Mirfield Free Grammar School held a Concert in the church, rehearsing or performing for almost the whole day, except for when the Community held its own services. About 120 came to the performance, looked after by Fr Oswin CR and Br Jacob. After such a week, one CR Brother commented “I wonder if I’d have applied to join as a Novice if it had been as busy as this in 1977”!
Br Steven CR and Fr Aidan CR can be glimpsed in the first episode of the new BBC 2 series Pilgrimage with Simon Reeve.
From Fr John Gribben CR: "Dear Companions and friends, I have been following with interest the appearance of Ison – the little comet that set out on its journey 5.5million years ago. As we come to think about Advent it is salutary to contemplate that the journey began at the time when our solar system was coming to birth and that even then creation was several billion years old. It sets our little world in context and we come to realise that the majesty of our God is beyond the horrible politics that have marred a humanity that tries to live without its Creator.  So we welcome a new Christian year. We have had several beautiful services for the feast of Christ the King – one of them in Wakefield Cathedral. Despite many sore throats and colds the Community is in robust health. Fr Vincent has been a little frailer and has had a short sojourn in Dewsbury hospital followed by convalescence in a local care home. He is now very happy to be at home with his brethren.  Please keep him in your prayers. Last Monday we had a lunch to promote the appeal for the restoration of the Quarry The atre. It was a very pleasant affair, many local worthies attended and much goodwill was generated. Now auction news: Things are going quite well but as the next Quarterly indicates having the auction during Lent created for me unforeseen difficulties. It is not something that can’t be overcome but I hope people will be patient with me. The big problem will be trying to get the catalogue up-to-date. I would be grateful if items that have been promised or that people intend to give could be got to me as soon as possible. Don’t panic on this one as I will go on receiving things up until the last minute so if you can’t manage until later that will be fine but if you can then it will make life easier for me. A preliminary view of the catalogue will go on the Community website so please have a look at it and draw the attention of your friends to it. The other area to mention is Lenten interviews. I cannot see anyone in the week previous to 29 March and will need as much time in the week before that as possible. As well as the auction I have to prepare for a Passiontide retreat and addresses for Holy Week. So I hope that those who might want me can book early and not be too disappointed if I can’t do the impossible. May the Advent hope inspire you and may you have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. John CR"
Brief note of Fr Thomas Seville’s address at the recent General Synod during the Women in the Episcopate debate (as reported in The Church Times) here
The College of the Resurrection has finished its annual Advent Retreat (29 November to 2 December). The guest speaker was Abbot Stuart Burns of Mucknell Abbey. The annual Companions Advent Retreat begins on 6 December and concludes on the 9th. 11 Companions have registered and Br. Philip Nicholls is leading this Retreat.
November 2013 A book review in "New Directions" - The Life of Raymond Raynes (a former CR Superior).   
A letter in "New Directions" from Br Stephen Hawes CR.     
An article by Fr Crispin Harrison CR in "New Directions": Satan's bondage - a reflection in Luke 13.10-17.    
An article by Fr Thomas Seville CR in "New Directions": Under the seal - reflecting on the seal of the confessional.    
From Fr Thomas Seville CR: “The week has begun with a wonderful November day, the sun bright and the colours of the remaining leaves and fruits providing a vivid and strangely lively variety to delight the eye and a good frost to boot. On Thursday we said goodbye to the Oblates who had been with us since Monday, seven in all, six of whom renewed their Oblations at the mass on Tuesday. Joining us in choir as Oblates do, they have been a wonderful presence to us this week and it would seem to have been a very happy gathering. One of the probationers, a curate in North Devon, was unable to be with us but the other who is at Dewsbury Minster gave us a moving and encouraging talk on Muslim-Christian relations in a town which has very high measures of deprivation. This was a contrast to Fr Oswin’s reflections on dialogue with Buddhist monks and his planned visit to a monastery in the secretive country of Bhutan in February (much concern was expressed about the temperatures in winter in that country, which does not have a statistic on Gross Domestic Product, but on national happiness! On Friday we had a day chapter which looked at a some improvements in the plans for the new monastery and the statement which is needed for potential donors; it presents serious challenges because what is intelligible to brethren as an account of our life does not really grab the potential donor and what does can raise the proverbial eyebrow or two. Our director of fundraising has been a great help here. Apple picking goes on; all the eaters are in or eaten and the crop has been excellent, although many are marred by scab; it does not affect the taste but they do not keep as well as ones not so marked. I hope that the proportion of apple trees which yield fruit which has to be eaten in the autumn can be reduced and more trees raised whose fruit will last until spring. This is a long term aspiration; first the trees have to be grafted and grown and then a few years allowed before they can yield good fruit. The medlar crop is also spectacular; indeed one tree has lost a branch because of the weight of the fruit. Sadly one of the fig trees has been pruned by persons unknown in such a way that it will not give a crop for some years. A rush of clergy, 17 in number, arrive on Monday for a retreat and so we will have meals in silence which is welcome. The church is warm, some think too warm! Vincent is in hospital for a few days having a check but seems to be surviving the hospital with good cheer, though he is looking forward to getting home”.
CR Oblates have been arriving at Mirfield for their November gathering.   

October 2013 

From Fr John Gribben CR: "Dear Companions, I hope that you are all well. I was moved by the number of responses to the last update. I hope that you will keep writing to me but please don’t be offended if I am unable to reply to them all. I have been busy since my last letter and the Community has been having quite an exciting time. Fr Simon has been to the USA giving addresses, Brother Philip was in Cape town helping Archbishop Tutu celebrate his birthday and clean up the beach, Nicolas has returned from Zimbabwe and Fr Oswin has been to an interreligious conference in Lerins. Aidan is in Venice at the moment. We had a good General Chapter discussing our business and reflecting on the Church and the world. After that we welcomed three Brethren from Trier when we enjoyed each other’s company and discussed things of mutual interest. I was at Walsingham at the beginning of the month for Guardian’s Chapter. I am aware of a great privilege to be allowed to be a Guardian. Part of the duties is to participate in the governance of the shrine and that can be quite demanding. The other part is ceremonial and devotional. In that capacity Guardians are called upon to accompany Our Lady’s image during pilgrimage processions and to help in the proclamation of the Gospel of the Incarnation. We have had a conference of the superiors of the Anglican religious communities. It was great to see such an array of habits and very moving to see the heads of small and declining communities being faithful in the face of many difficulties. The Retreat House will barely have time to cool down. Last week a conference on Ignatian spirituality and on Sunday night an eight day retreat were both well subscribed. A couple of the participants brought me some splendid contributions to the auction. The auction is going well. Some remarkable silver has turned up including a George III trophy which may turn out to be very valuable. One lady in Mirfield has given me a large number of things, two of which are worth mentioning. One is a beautiful inkstand inset with ivory and with two ink bottles and little brass post scales and weights. The other is a bit battered but is a joy to handle. It is a 1637 edition of the King James Bible bound up with a 1633 concordance and the BCP. It is lovely to see Charles our King mentioned in the prayers. On St Simon and Jude’s Day we had very beautiful Mass to celebrate the College’s Foundation Day. I’m afraid this letter has taken a long time to complete. I began it at the beginning of the month but all these various things overtook me and I didn’t have time to get back to letter writing until now. So what better way to end than to wish you all the blessings of All Saints." Photos of Auction items: Top Hat (this is a bit slow to download but please be patient!) Silver  Train
From Fr George Guiver, Superior CR "My five week prayer mission to Hull has been postponed until the spring. I think lots of people's prayers will be being stored up in heaven until the event actually happens!"
A future full of hope? - article by Nicolas Stebbing CR considering the future of Anglican Religious life.
Report from Fr Nicolas of his recent visit to Zimbabwe.

Latest Appeal Newsletter containing important information about the new monastery and the quarry theatre plus much more.

Latest Intercession List (Michaelmass 2013) and Prayer Sheet 2013-2014

September 2013

Mr. Gupta has now uploaded pictures from the Kilimanjaro Challenge which he and his son undertook last month in aid of CR. Photographs are here.

You may have noticed that this website has a slightly different look. The change makes it easier to scroll and view on mobile devices and the opportunity has been taken to ensure everything is as up to date as possible, including new photographs added to some pages and the phototour slide show. If there is content you would like to see on the site which is not currently here - or if you have any comments on, or contributions for, this site - please make contact.

From Fr John Gribben CR: "Dear Friends and Companions. I hope that you are all well. I had a wonderful holiday in Ireland during three weeks in August. Belfast was uncharacteristically dry for that time of the year. It is a lovely city where you can entertain yourself for almost nothing. I had lovely trips round the Ards Peninsula , the Mourne Mountains and the ecclesiastical capital, Armagh . Oh and I did a Park Run on three Saturdays and came up with a personal best 5k in 26.44. It all seems a long time ago now. Since then I’ve had a weekend on Dante [photographs here] and a quiet day for SSC and quite a busy time on auction business. This is going really well now and I think that we will raise a larger sum than I expected when we started out. Of course, I’m not speaking of a sum like the last two auctions. I am still looking for offers of items. This is a good way to find homes for things that you have loved but no longer want to keep and to contribute to CR’s funds at the same time. The House is beginning to buzz again as Brethren return from holidays and work. Fr George is still enjoying a well earned holiday in Italy . Nicolas is in Zimbabwe and though not on holiday he is loving it. It is easy when one sees how he looks forward to such visits, to forget how hard he works for the people of that country. He has been bringing material support to the orphanages which he founded and educational projects which provide a future for teenage boys and girls. He has also been working hard for the Church in Zimbabwe – giving retreats, preaching and generally encouraging a people ravaged and persecuted during the time of Kununga’s control. Term will soon begin and Fr Peter will have the added responsibility of an enlarged body of students. Of course, his responsibilities don’t end when the summer holiday begins – a lot of his summer has been taken up with meetings of the College Council, University examination boards and the various Church of England bodies responsible for vocation to the Priesthood. He has all this on top of encouraging the Community to sing well and visiting Sisterhoods to help with advice and direction. At times (like August) when many Brethren are away, quite a lot falls on those who are in the House. We are very grateful to our Brethren who kept the infirmary, the singing and the kitchen working well and the house and church clean and tidy when numbers were few at home. It has been a surprisingly good year for fruit and Thomas has done a great job of collecting it and increasing his output of wonderful jams. I recently advertised the offer of choir stalls. All the two seaters are sold or spoken for and some of the three seaters have gone but there are still some available at £150 each unit. As I said before, this is for collection only so make sure that you have transport available and that you have the space for them. Now, as autumn and Advent draw near we turn our hearts and minds to the glorious mystery of a God who loves us so much that he empties himself of power in order to share our lives and sympathises with us in the difficulties and sorrows which life entails. May that God bless you and keep you firm in the hope of the Resurrection. John CR".

* UPDATED * Photographs from the recent Companions Study Weekend are here.

Obituary for Jack Cawthorne 1922-2013.

August 2013

Details of Retreats at Mirfield to be held in 2014 can be found here.

27 September 10.30am: The Community of the Resurrection and The Mirfield Liturgical Institute present: "Re-Opening the Storehouse to Choose Gifts Anew", the Second Annual Walter Tapper Lecture (followed by optional Midday Office and Eucharist). The Guest Lecturer will be Rick Fabian, former Rector, St Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco . The lecture will take place in the Church of the Resurrection, Mirfield. This is a FREE event (refreshments available, donations welcome) To book a place please contact 01924 481920 or uk

Two forthcoming regional events: CR Companions, East Anglia Autumn Meeting: Saturday 12 October, 2013 at St Mary, Diss, to include cooked lunch - details here. CR St Albans Companions Study Day at Cheddington, Bedfordshire. Subject: Isaiah. Leader: The Revd Canon Mike Butterworth. Cost: £6. Book now by e-mail

From Fr John CR: "Dear Friends and Companions, the Festival Day seems ages ago now. I thought that it was a great day and I enjoyed myself very much. I was encouraged by the number of people who turned up for the Companions meeting. I was very busy and so there were several things that I forgot to announce. The most important of these was that we are offering our old choir stalls to Companions and friends of CR. The y are very fine items of furniture and would make nice garden seats or they would also look quite elegant as dining seats at a kitchen table. The y come in two sizes i.e. two seater and three seater. Our suggested donation is Two seater £100.oo Three seater £150.00. This would be on the understanding that the purchaser would collect. If you are unfamiliar with the old seats please come and inspect them before paying to make sure that they are suited to your needs. The y are a lovely reminder of the church before the renovations. Yours in Christ, John CR".

July 2013

From Fr Nicolas CR: “ The Community is now in retreat for seven days, which we are all enjoying as it was preceded by a week of quite intensive discussions. Now we are praying about the discussions before we vote on some crucial issues. Our retreat is being taken by Mother Nikola Porsche, the Superior of Minster Abbey in Kent . She is a most delightful person with a warm bubbling personality. She is also a very good scholar. She is talking to us about the Rule of St Benedict. We are not formally Benedictines but we use the rule of Benedict for inspiration and guidance about our life. It needs to be interpreted by someone who has really lived and studied it and that is what she is doing to our great benefit. The re’s not much more to report. Our fruit bushes are producing well this year and Fr Thomas has made jars and jars of rhubarb and gooseberry jam (usually separately) and some very good strawberry and blackcurrant jam. This saves us a lot of money as we never now buy jam or marmalade. Please keep us in your prayers – on Thursday, our Foundation Day when we all renew our commitment to the life we have been called to live and then next week when we must make final decisions on a whole range of important issues. As a little plug for our Tariro charity, have you looked at the new website – Please do and then think about whether your church can support us at harvest time.  Our finances for this work in Zimbabwe are very tight at the moment so we would be most grateful for some support”

Photographs are here from the Companions Day and Festival Day held on 13 July. Fr George's sermon from the day is here.

5 July was the First Evensong of the Dedication of the Community Church . The Brethren gathered in the Chapel of the Resurrection where the Foundation Stone was censed, followed by the procession in the nave and choir. On Saturday 6th the Brethren celebrated the Dedication of the Community Church , it being the 75th Anniversary of when the Archbishop of York dedicated its completion on 6th July 1938. During Tea in the Refectory, a special 75 cake was made by the Community's excellent cook Catherine, complete with sparklers! To round off the festivities an exhibition of photographs and news cuttings were on display to commemorate 75 years in the completed church in memory of the founder Charles Gore.  

From Fr John Gribben CR: "Greetings dear Companions and friends. In my last letter I reported on Fr Dominic and Fr Vincent. Little did I know that within such a short time Dominic would no longer be with us. At the time I was simply relating how our two most senior brethren were continuing in their vocation in infirmity and old age. Just a few days after I had sent out the letter Dominic began to decline rapidly. He died peacefully and with the comfort of the sacraments. With Dominic a whole chapter of the history of CR comes to an end. He came as a postulant in 1944 which means he had been all my life in the Community. Fr Vincent is quite robust but finds it hard to get about unaided but he rarely misses offices, has a good sense of humour and is always very gracious in his relationship with his brothers.  At the other end of the age range we are indeed fortunate. Jacob and Dennis in first profession have been working very hard – Dennis as Guest Brother and Jacob as House Steward as well as each of them bearing a major part of the burden when brethren are sick. Brethren in first profession are still making a discernment about their future vocation so please keep them in your prayers as they seek the Lord’s will. We have one aspirant, several enquirers and a number of young people who want to live alongside of us either to discern their vocation to religious life or to study some aspect of monasticism. The y are always willing to share in the toil of our domestic life. The last few days have been very busy for the Community and will continue so. Dominic was borne into church at Evensong to the singing of ‘May holy angels bear you away to paradise and there at the threshold may saints and angels welcome you’. An all night vigil was kept by his coffin and then on Monday was a solemn requiem followed by his burial in the Community cemetery. The re was a large gathering. On Saturday is the feast of the Dedication of the church. The foundation stone was laid in 1911 and the church was completed in 1938 last wee,k being the 75th anniversary. On the day following (7 July) we will hold our annual Fun Day when in addition to the usual stalls, raffles and games there will be a rally of vintage and classic cars and bikes on the cricket field. On the following Saturday (13 July) we will have the CR Festival Day which begins with Companions in the morning. I will give a talk on the Auctioneer’s Lot . At Mass there will be a renewal of Companions’ commitment when cards will be placed on the altar and some probationers will become full Companions. By then our annual Chapter will already be under way. This lasts until 2 August during which we discuss our life and take all the important decisions which affect it. On the 3 August we go on pilgrimage to Monkwearmouth and on 4th I go on holiday! My next Companion’s letter will probably be in October by which time I will have returned from Belfast and been the enabler on the Study Weekend 6-8 September. I am really looking forward to exploring Dante’s world. If you want to come please book soon and don’t be disappointed. That only leaves me to mention next year’s Walsingham Pilgrimage and next year’s auction. Dates for both these events have been booked: Walsingham 30 May – 2 June and the Auction 29 March so put them in your diary. I am, as usual, hoping for donations towards the auction – if you have anything let me know. Yours in the Risen Lord". John CR [Photographs (i) train (ii) bricabrac]

June 2013

Please see this Ember List for College of the Resurrection students being Ordained this Petertide. Also now on the site is the latest CR Quarterly and Intercessions Leaflet.

Mention in the Church Times here of CR Companion Donna Fletcher Crow's latest book "An Unholy Communion".

The latest Appeal Newsletter can be viewed here

Video here courtesy of Jeremy Plummer

Fr Dominic Whitnall CR died at 2.15pm on Wednesday 12 June in the 99th year of his age and the 66th year of his Profession. Fr George, Superior CR, anointed him the night before with Br Jacob CR and Fr John CR laying hands on him. The Community asks you to join with them in giving thanks for his life and in praying for the repose of his soul. His funeral will be at Mirfield on Monday 1 July  at 11.30am . The notice which appeared in the Church Times is here.

From Fr John Gribben CR "Dear Companions and friends, It does seem a long time since I wrote my last letter. Several of the things that I wrote about then have happened making it a busy time for the Community and for myself. Life around Mirfield has been lively since Easter. At the CCR Council on 20 May and at the Northern Council we discussed the forthcoming Companion’s Day and Study Weekend (see below). The Companion’s Pilgrimage to Walsingham was a very happy affair but sadly three of those who had booked couldn’t come. Geoff Dignum, to whom we are grateful for his organisation of this and many previous pilgrimages, had to go into hospital the week before. Get well soon Geoff! Thanks for all that you have done for us. Thanks too to Kevin for standing in and working with the coolness and efficiency characteristic of him. Our prayers and sympathy go to Vanessa and Malcolm. Vanessa’s father died in the week before the retreat so they had to withdraw. We have already booked for the same week next year (30 May to 2 June 2014) and I suggest that if you’ve been before you know that it is worth booking in and if you haven’t it is certainly worth giving it a try. Walsingham was beautiful both for the National Pilgrimage and for the Companion’s pilgrimage. A bumper lot from Mirfield went on the National Pilgrimage – 11 students and three members of the Community. The Archbishop of York preached a very good sermon. I think that numbers were up and the sun shone on us all day. After a week of atrocious weather the Companion’s Pilgrimage began in sunshine and apart from some teeth chattering during outdoor Stations of the Cross, the weather was kind to us. We were well served by the shrine and given a warm welcome both there and in the parish church. The Companions were all very happy whether at devotions or in the lanes of Norfolk or relaxing in the Bull. Everyone was ready to help and to assist at various liturgical tasks and so the CCR Chaplain had an easy time! Pilgrimage is a very special way of making the Gospel story our own and so a visit to Walsingham is a special way of welcoming the Son of God into our hearts and our lives (photographs here). But there is more to come! On 13 July we will have the combine Companion’s Day and CR Festival Day. This will be a mixture of friendship as we all renew old acquaintances, relaxation as you enjoy the church and its environs and devotion as we meet our Lord in the sacraments. At Mass there will be an act of recommitment by the Companions and some new Companions will be admitted. During the morning session there will be an update of Community news and I will try to give a talk on ‘Who wants to be an Auctioneer’. In the afternoon there will be workshops ‘On being a Companion of CR’ these will be enabled by some of the Companions. I look forward to meeting with a lot of you! (details here) And if that’s not enough there is the Study Weekend 6-8 September. This is called ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ and is a look at the Divine Comedy by the medieval poet Dante. The re is so much to see and enjoy in this of knowledge of the God of love, of art, of poetry, of fantasy and imagination. Places will be limited to 20 so book early (details here). Several brethren are on holiday at the moment and with quite a lot of guests and a couple of infirm Brethren we are kept pretty busy with housework. Fr Vincent and Fr Dominic are both very brave and patient men. Vincent is a perfect gentleman and requests very little but his mobility has become limited and so he needs to be assisted getting to church, the refectory and his room. He has a great sense of humour and he sometimes surprises us with a sharp and witty comment on things. Until a short time ago Dominic maintained a good deal of independent action but in the last couple of weeks he has become much more dependent on others and is now very frail. Please keep them in your prayers. While I am speaking of infirmity and sickness I am always ready to pray for Companions who are ill or incapacitated. Please let me know if you would like the Community to pray for you and please let me know if there are Companions who would appreciate our prayers. Each night I light a candle after Compline and mention the names of the sick in the confidence that Christ will love them and hold them in his Heart. Brethren continue to play a part in the Huddersfield (Methodist) Mission which is both an ecumenical venture and part of our attempt at outreach to the local community. I continue, when other duties don’t prevent me, to take part in the local Parkrun in Greenhead Park Huddersfield . I don’t cover myself with glory (this week 271st out of 476) but it is great fun and a lovely way to encounter local people. Auction – in case I haven’t mentioned it before I am organising another one. Activity has been slow this month but we have received one stunning item – an Indian Army cavalry sabre in mint condition – and we have promise of a lot of other good things.  This is a good way to raise money for the Community and it is a way in which we can all take part. First of all pray for me and for the auction so that any outcome may be for the glory of God and for the extension of his kingdom. The n I will need helpers – to collect things, to pass on the news especially to dealers and on the day of the auction. Of course I am still looking for items of interest and some of them may be hidden in the depths of your cellar or at the back of your desk drawer or even awaiting the dustbin collection! If you think you have something please let me know. If you know of someone downsizing or clearing a house tell them about me (well – not all about me). Love and prayers". John CR. Photos: (i) Sword (ii) The Kiss - Rodin inspired by Divine Comedy (iii) Dante

Photographs from the recent CR Companions Pilgrimage to Walsingham can now be seen here. The date for next year's CR Companions Pilgrimage to Walsingham is 30 May to 2 June 2104. 

Further information (and booking form for groups) for the Companions Day can be found here

Further information and booking form for the Companions Study Weekend can be found here

May 2013

Dates for your Diary: Companions Day 13 July (further details are now available here). Companions Study Weekend 6-8 September (further details are now available here). Companions Day 2014: 12 July.

Novice Daniel has now left the Community to pursue a possible route to Ordination. He is currently on a parish placement in North London .

Companion Keith Battarbee is planning to undertake a 100km Trans Pennine Challenge in aid of the CR Appeal. The Trans Pennine Challenge is tipped to be the toughest in the ‘Walk it, Run it Series’, journeying across the Pennines from the urban landscape of Manchester alongside winding riverside paths, on through the Peak District to Penistone at the 50km midpoint; then to Sheffield and the Don Valley Stadium 100km finish line. Keith has now set up a JustGiving page for his Trans Pennine challenge – please go to to sponsor him. Thank you.

April 2013

Letter to Companions from Fr John CR, April 2013. A photograph of the desk mentioned therein can be seen here

Travels in Wisconsin - a report on the recent visit to the USA by Fr Nicolas CR.

Extract from an article in the Church Times from 19 April regarding an article by Dr Charlotte Methuen entitled "Marriage: one man and one woman", regarded by some as a minority report to the FAOC's report "Men and Women in Marriage": On Monday, the Revd Thomas Seville CR, a member of the Commission, said that the report was “as clear as it could be” on the question of what it refers to as “accommodations” for same-sex couples. “ The issue of producing a report in soundbites, which has its temptations, is that you end by giving people something superficial. ‘Well-designed accommodation’ is a good one, it leaves things open which we should not really have been speculating on.” The Commission had been “mindful” of the fact that the Pilling Review, which is looking at the Church’s approach to sexuality, is due to report: “We did not want to be messing up their patch,” he said. The Commission had been “very concerned not to make judgements or condemnation about other forms of relating but we were stating positively what the Church of England actually taught.” The re was much discussion of the FAOC paper but it was agreed that it should be sent on to the House of Bishops Standing Committee and then to the House of Bishops". Fr Seville said he hoped that the Commission would look at the issues raised in Dr Methuen’s paper in the future.

Companions should have received their Commitment Cards for completion and returning to Mirfield. If you have not received yours, please make contact.

The latest CR Quarterly Review and updated Intercessions leaflet are now on this site.

The latest Appeal Newsletter is here

CR's detailed annual accounts to 31 August 2012 can now be seen here

March 2013

Thomas CR was in the procession at Canterbury Cathedral for the enthronement of the new Archbishop. He was representing Anglican Religious Communities.

Details of the concert on 20 April "Sacred and Secular" can be found here

From Fr John: "Dear Companions and Friends, I am trying to catch up on this letter which I should have written last week. We are all getting ready for Holy Week – some of us going to parishes and some sharing the Holy Week and Easter Ceremonies with the College here at Mirfield. I shall be going to Lytham to Fr David Lyon, an old student of the College from the days when I was a tutor. Fr Crispin is going to Alderney and Brother Stephen will be at Wellingborough and you can find where the other brethren will be on the intercession leaflet. Please pray for us all as I will be praying for the Companions wherever they may be at this holy season. After Easter we will have a Spring Concert of sacred and secular music on 20 April and I am preparing to conduct a retreat here from 19 to 21 April. The CR Quarterly is almost ready for publication and we hope to send out the Companion’s commitment cards so the time to reflect on our mutual relationship to the Risen Lord has come round again. That in turn reminds us that the CR Festival Day will be on 13 July when, after the Companion’s meeting in the morning, the cards will be placed on the altar during Solemn Mass. A number of Companions have asked if I have any news of an auction. Well, I have gathered quite a number of items and I have promises from about four people so I think at the moment there is enough to justify having another go. While there are several very good items, I have nothing yet that would give promise of the kind of figures that we raised in the two previous auctions but you never know what may turn up. We will not have an auction this year but I have booked the refectory for 29 March next year and when Easter is over I will make a gentle beginning and not rush at it. However, please do keep your eyes open for anything from a broken watch to a diamond tiara or from an old postcard to an autographed Picasso. With every blessing for Easter, John CR"

February 2013

Letter in The Church Times from the Revd Timothy Evans, Director of Pastoral Studies, Yorkshire Ministry Course.

January in Zimbabwe - latest report from Fr Nicolas CR

A reminder of two events taking place on 2 March for CR Companions. The first is a Lent meeting of the CR East Anglian Branch at St Mary, Diss: details here. The second is a joint CSMV Oblates/CR Companions Quiet Day at Southwark Cathedral: details here.

Companions Pilgrimage to Walsingham (31 May to 3 June) - there are only half a dozen places left. Book now to avoid disappointment - please e-mail Geoff Dignum.

Mirfield Publications leaflet

The sermon preached by Fr George Guiver, Superior CR, at the Funeral Requiem of Timothy Stanton CR is now available on the sermons page

Article here by Fr Peter CR in Church Music Quarterly, the periodical of the Royal School of Church Music 


January 2013

From Br Daniel NovCR: “Last weekend I had lead my first retreat with Fr Dennis. It was a good experience with a nice group of participants. It was very good to see new faces, who had not been in CR before. The weather was freezing and the house was cold but they seemed to be enjoying their time. One thing is to have been on retreats as participant, another thing is to lead it. I was glad that Dennis did good preliminary work and I could join in. The re was a good support from the other brethren too. A retreat in CR is not just about the brothers involved in it. We all contribute with our involvements in choir and during meals and I think the retreatants benefit from that too.”

Geoff Dignum advises that the total cost of this year's Companions' Pilgrimage to Walsingham (31 May to 3 June) will be £167.70 per person. A deposit of £30 per person should be sent to Geoff by the end of February. Please e-mail if you require further details.

Fr Timothy Stanton CR died on 16 January in his 96th year and the 61st year of his profession. Announcement and funeral details here. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

From Fr John Gribben, Chaplain to the CR Companions: "Dear Companion’s and Friends, A Happy 2013 - I hope that everyone has had a good Christmas. Christmas at HR was the usual mixture of the religious celebration of the Incarnation and a jovial and expansive enjoyment of mince pies, turkey and chocolate. I received the Greyfriar’s Holiday Annual 1930 and so my bedtime reading has been greatly enhanced. On St Stephen’s Day I cooked dinner for the Community and guests (19 and 2 vegetarians). I’m not very skilled but nobody was sick. Sadly this year Andrew is no longer with us but I can imagine him joining heartily with the angels in ‘Glory to God in the Highest'. A lot has happened since I sat down to write this letter. Andrew was buried on the Feast of the Epiphany. It was a lovely service and a happy one – the conclusion of a mortal life devoted to the service of Christ. On the same day George took up again his ministry of leadership having been re-elected to serve as Superior. Also on the same day Jan - a young German student who has been staying here - was baptised before setting off with Nicolas for a month’s work in Zimbabwe. This all took place in the same General Chapter in which Jacob was elected to first profession. Sadly last night we had another death in the Community. Fr Timothy Stanton took a serious turn and the ambulance service was called but by the time they arrived Timothy had already gone to his Lord. He was a very holy man of great courage and admirable humility. We shall all miss him very much. Brother Daniel and I went out to see ‘ The Hobbit’ a couple of nights ago and both of us enjoyed it very much. If you are a Tolkien fan it is well worth a visit. One of the underlying themes is the sense of call – of how the small person can play his part in the salvation of others. This is true supremely of the baby born in Bethlehem but it is true of each of us as we put ourselves into the hands of God. On Sunday evening 3 February we will have a Candlemas Concert of religious and secular music and poetry which will include items performed by pupils from Mirfield Free Grammar School. The school recently held their carol service in our church. It was excellent and it was another opportunity for local people to come and share something of the joy that our place of worship brings to us. I shall be conducting Holy Week in St Ann ’s where Fr David Lyon, an old student of the College, is vicar. After Easter I will give attention to the question of the auction. We have provisionally booked the College refectory for 29 March 2014 but that can be cancelled if we don’t think that it is feasible. Some people expressed anxiety in case it would interfere with my post as Chaplain to the Companions but I think that that is extremely unlikely. I was appointed at the end of July just before my three weeks in Belfast which meant that trying to learn the ropes with just about six weeks before the 2012 auction was impossible – although I carried on dealing with day-to-day mail and other business relating to Companions. The feasibility of another auction would depend on my being able to collect enough items to feel that I could raise at least £5,000. Many of you have been helpful and generous and I would not want to press anyone to go beyond what they feel is their limit. It is worth remembering however that a lot of money was raised on things which the donors felt was no longer any use to them – old and sometimes broken watches, postcards and things that had taken up room. You may have neighbours who are moving or downsizing and who might like to donate something to us. Recently I found an old shoe last in the cellar and I thought what a good idea for the first lot. It inspires all sorts of adages such as ‘the last shall be first,’ Gribben’s last stand’ and ‘ The Last Auction’. Anyway keep us in mind and in your prayers. John CR"

The latest Appeal Newsletter is here

A young man called Dean is coming to the Community as a postulant on 1 March to test his vocation and he needs to find a home for his dog Millie. Might somebody looking for a dog who would also be happy to help someone exploring membership of Community? Photograph and details here. If you can help, please make contact. Thank you.

Please click here to see photographs of the baptism at the Community church of Jan Oliva, from Germany , who has been “living alongside” the Community. He was baptised on 6 January, the Epiphany.

The ashes of Andrew CR, who died on 9 December 2012 were interred in the CR cemetery on 6 January. Andrew had opted for cremation.

The Community has re-elected Fr George Guiver to be Superior for another five years (his third term of office) and are encouraging Br Jacob to make his first temporary profession, which will take place early in February

The re is a new feature on the CR website: the Brethren of the Community now provide a reflection on the reading for the daily mass through the year. The y are to be found on the Finding God page

Fr Thomas has put together the text of a jam recipe book which may be published in due course

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 2012 is here

News from 2011 is here

News from 2010 is here

News from 2009 is here

News from 2008 is here