Mr.Clive Leach CBE, a former England cricketer and former chief Executive of Tyne Tees Television, is Chairman of the Catholic Universe Media Group – which publishes The Universe and Catholic Times. On August 1st he visited the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst.
Pictured here with Mrs.Jan Graffius, the Curator, he saw the desk where the young Arthur Conan Doyle etched his name. Some of Doyle’s contemporaries included pupils called, Moriarty and Sherlock.
Mr.Leach, who is chairman of Durham County Cricket Club, was interested in some of the College cricketing connections and then went on to see a selection of the scared artefacts in the Collections. He is pictured here, with Mrs.Graffius and Dame Alice Murphy, with a medieval vestment.
Sculptor, Stephen Broadbent, Visits the Christian Heritage Centre – May 2016.
Christ and the Many Crosses – from Jerusalem’s Via Dolorossa.
The Christian sculptor, Stephen Broadbent, and his wife, Lorraine, recently visited the Christian Heritage Centre project at Stonyhurst where Stephen discussed plans for The Stations of the North – which would be situated in a woodland setting close to Theodore House – the derelict mill building which is to be turned into a retreat, study and Christian leadership centre. Using classical imagery from the traditional 14 Stations of the Cross, drawing on the scriptural accounts of Jesus’ Passion and contemporary imagery of collective and individual suffering and pain in today’s world, the trustees of the Christian Heritage Centre, want the Northern Stations to open hearts and minds to the Christian message.
Stephen’s public sculpture has included The Water of Life in the cloisters of Chester Cathedral and The Man http://sbal.co.uk/who_we_are/
The Stonyhurst collection is the oldest surviving museum collection in the English-speaking world. It is the collection of a “forgotten ancient British university”. It embodies the Jesuit philosophy encapsulated in the phrase “the world is our house” – outward-looking, respectful of other cultures, and intrinsically inclusive – that made the Jesuits keepers of memory and preservers of culture.
The centre was established as an independent registered charity to:
· House and care for the Stonyhurst collection and to make it accessible to as wide an audience as possible.
· Facilitate an educational programme for people of all ages and cultures.
· Provide Retreat and Study Centre for those seeking to explore and deepen their faith, and accommodation for those engaged on scholarly research into the collection.
While the Catholic heritage of England remains at the core of the collection, it is hoped that the astounding range of objects expressive of other religions and beliefs will resonate with audiences of all backgrounds, spurring inter-faith dialogue, leading to greater mutual understanding.
In this way, the Trust believes that the collection will not only enable English-speaking Catholics to re-connect with a crucial episode in their history, but will prompt all our visitors – at a time when the world is witnessing a tragic resurgence of religious conflict – to reflect more deeply on questions of faith, persecution and tolerance.
May 2016 – Visit by Cardinal Charles Bo
Following his talk to stidents and staff at Stonyhurst College, Burma’s Cardinal, Charles Bo, visited the historic Collections and the Christian Heritage Centre:
After delivering an inspiring talk to the students of Stonyhurst College, in which he talked about the role of the Catholic Church in his country, and the struggle for religious freedom, Burma’s Cardinal Charles Bo visited Phase Two of the Christian Heritage Centre. One of the curators, Joseph Reed, showed the Cardinal some of the unique collections which are housed in the now refurbished Arundell Library – and which touch on the struggle of English Catholics to sustain their own faith during penal times. Among the attached photographs (361) Cardinal Bo studies the Latin prose of a teenage boy who reflects on the decision of St.Cecilia to face martyrdom rather than renounce her faith. The boy who write it was Charles Carroll who, on returning to America, was the Catholic signatory to the American Declaration of Independence.
The Cardinal also came face to face with a former member of the College of Cardinals when he viewed the skull of Cardinal John Morton. Morton served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1486 to 1500 and was created a cardinal by the Pope in 1493 (photo 443) Two hats owned by Thomas More appear in the same photograph.. Cardinal Morton was a mentor of the young Thomas More – and served as a page in his house. St.Thomas mentioned Morton in “Utopia” – which was published 500 years ago.
Cardinal Bo also examined an illuminated book of hours, prayer books and vestments made for priest who secretly and illegally said Mass during penal times – and venerated relics of English martyrs, praying for English Christians that their faith may be strengthened through the knowledge of their story.
The next Phase of the Christian Heritage Centre is the restoration of a ruined mill building which is to be known as Theodore House and which will be used for study, Christian leadership formation, and retreat. £2.6 million of the £4 million target has so far been raised. Phase 4 will be a Visitors’ Centre.
The Christian Heritage Centre deserves the support of everyone who values Christian truth. – Paul Johnson, author of A History of the American People
The creation of a Christian Heritage Centre will inspire, educate, and celebrate the rich contribution of Christianity – The Rt Hon. Ann Widdecombe PC
Theodore Trust donates final £2m to the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst.
On Thursday 25th of February 2016 at a reception in the House of Lords Fr. John Barnes, Chairman of the Theodore Trust, on behalf of his trustees, presented a cheque for two million pounds to the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst. This is the final donation to be made by the Theodore Trust before it is wound up.
The gift will be applied to Phase Three of the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst – which will comprise a retreat, study, and leadership centre to be called Theodore House. It will lead to the restoration of the Old Mill Buildings situated in this area of outstanding natural beauty, with its link to recusant Catholics and to celebrated Catholics such as J.R.R.Tolkien and Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ.
St Theodore of Canterbury was a Syrian Christian who was appointed Primate of All England by the Pope and after whom the Trust, and the new centre, are named. St.Theodore is venerated as a saint by the faithful of both the Catholic and the Anglican traditions.
The reception was hosted by the Chairman of the Christian Heritage Centre Trust, The Lord Alton of Liverpool. The donation was received on behalf of the trustees of the Christian Heritage Centre by the project’s Royal Patrons Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor.
Lord Nicholas Windsor said, “We are tremendously grateful and excited to have been chosen as the recipients of the Theodore Trust’s final donation.”
Fr. John Barnes, (Chairman of the Theodore Trustees) recalled the foundation and origins of the Trust and the support which it has given over many years to Christian projects, including the Catholic National library and the CAFÉ project. He said that “The emphasis which the Trust has place on ensuring that the Christian story is told to the next generation has convinced us that this project is the right one for us to support with our final bequest.”
Lord Deben (Trustee of the Theodore Trust) said, “We feel this donation is an appropriate legacy for the Trust and we are happy to support such a worthwhile endeavour. We are delighted that the retreat, study, and leadership centre is to be named after St Theodore of Canterbury. Knowledge of their rich story will help Catholics to be more insistent about their place in British society and the Christian Heritage Centre will also celebrate the importance of artefacts and transmit the love of our Faith to the next generation”
His Excellency Péter Szabadhegy, Ambassador of Hungary, who has visited the project said that “I have no doubt, just as St.Theodore represented the coming together of East and West, that Theodore House will be a centre of international importance and significance.”
Lord Alton said, “This gift amounts to half of the funding required for completion of our project’s third phase. It is a wonderful boost, allowing us to move nearer to our goal of building a retreat, study, and leadership centre to support the global work of the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst. This donation adds to support which the project has received from the British Province of the Society of Jesus and Stonyhurst College as well as other donors. Once we have completed Phase Three we will get to work on Phase Four, which will be a Visitors’ Centre, using the unique artefacts which we hold in trust to tell the Christian story to a new generation.”
Presentation of the £2m. Left to Right: Lord Deben, Lord Nicholas Windsor, Lady Nicholas Windsor, Fr John Barns, Fr David Baker
– ENDS –
NOTES TO EDITORS
Also In attendance at the reception were:
- Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst Patrons and Trustees; The Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, Chairman of Aid to The Church in Need Graham Hutton.
- His Excellency Péter Szabadhegy, Ambassador of Hungary. The Embassy of Hungary is being supported by Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst in bringing the relics of St Thomas Becket from Hungary to the UK later this year.
- Councillor Terry Hill, deputy leader of the Ribble Valley Council.
- Baroness Masham of Ilton
- Senator Ronan Mullen
The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst
The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst was founded in 2012 to:
- Care for, and provide for broad public access to, the Stonyhurst collection. These Christian artefacts and relics make up the oldest museum collection in the English-speaking world.
- Facilitate an educational programme for people of all ages.
- Provide a retreat, study, and leadership centre for those seeking to explore and deepen their faith, and accommodation for those engaged in scholarly research using the collection.
These aims are being achieved in three phases:
Phase One – restoration of the Church of St Peter at Stonyhurst, undertaken by the British Province of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits (complete).
Phase Two – restoration of the Stonyhurst College Libraries and the setting up of the Old Chapel Museum (fully funded, nearing completion).
The newly installed steps into the restored Old Chapel Museum
Phase Three – building of a retreat, study, and leadership centre. This phase will be achieved through the major restoration of the Old Mill Buildings at Stonyhurst, and will be known as Theodore House. This will include a chapel, study and lecture rooms, and 30 bedrooms. Following the donation from the Theodore Trust this phase requires the raising of a further £1.7m. Patrons of the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst also include: The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster The Provincial Superior of the British Province of the Society of Jesus Bishop Nicholas Reade, former Bishop of Blackburn Lord Shuttleworth, the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire Baroness Cox John Studzinski Lord Guthrie, former head of the British Army, John Bruton, the former Irish Taoiseach http://www.christianheritagecentre.com/whoweare.html
The Theodore Trust
The Theodore Trust is named after St Theodore of Canterbury (602-690AD) who was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 668 AD to 690 AD. He is venerated as a saint by the faithful of both the Catholic and the Anglican traditions. The Trust was founded to make donations to Churches, Charities, Libraries and Schools for the “advancement of the Christian Religion”.
The Trustees are:
- Mrs Marion Houssart
- Lord Deben
- Fr. David Baker
- Fr. John Barnes (Chairman)
For further information please contact Anton’ de Piro: firstname.lastname@example.org