Welcome to the site for News, Events and up-to-date Information on Traditional Catholicism in the West Midlands (UK). I am one of the Diocesan Representatives for the Latin Mass Society of England & Wales for the Promotion of the Traditional Roman Rite.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Masses until Epiphany

Hope you are enjoying the festive period. Please note the following alterations to the Mass schedules for the next couple of weeks:

1) There will be no evening Mass at the Oratory tomorrow (27th December) but it should return on the 3rd January. The regular 6.30pm Friday evening Masses at St John Fisher in West Heath and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour continue as usual. The regular Saturday 9.30am Mass at the Birmingham Oratory will continue as normal

2) There will be a High Mass at 12 noon on 1st January for the Octave of the Nativity of Our Lord at the Birmingham Oratory and as far as I am aware, there will be a Low Mass at Halesowen but please check (telephone 0121 602 1972) if you are planning on attending.

3) There will not be a High Mass at 7pm on the 6th January for Epiphany at the Birmingham Oratory as previously advertised in Mass of Ages. Instead, there will be a Low Mass at 6pm, and the Sunday High Mass at 10.30am will be celebrated as an external solemnity. There will also be a Low Mass at 6.30pm on 6th January in neighbouring Redditch at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas 2013 Masses

Altar prepared for an Advent Rorate Mass at the Birmingham Oratory
Christmas Day EF Masses 25th December 2013

Low Mass of Dawn
8.00 am Our Lady of Perpetual Succour,

Low Mass of Dawn
8.30 am St John Fisher,
1 Cofton Road, West Heath, BIRMINGHAM B31 3QT

High Mass of the Day
Birmingham Oratory, 141 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, BIRMINGHAM 10.30am

See sidebar for directions.

May I take this opportunity to wish all those who follow and read this blog a happy and Holy Christmas.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Record number of candidates at Traditional Rite Confirmations in London

A record number of candidates received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Traditional Rite last Saturday, at a ceremony in central London organised by the Latin Mass Society.

Nearly fifty children and adults received Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form from Bishop John Arnold, auxiliary in Westminster, at St James’s Church, Spanish Place on Saturday, 14th December. He was assisted by Fr Christopher Colven, the rector of St James’s, Fr Tim Finigan of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, and Fr Rupert McHardy of the London Oratory. Following the Confirmations, the bishop celebrated Pontifical Benediction.

Bishop John Arnold conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation on one of the candidates
After the ceremonies, Bishop Arnold joined the candidates, their sponsors and families in the parish social centre for a celebration buffet lunch.

The Latin Mass Society has been organising annual Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form for several years now. This past year there were also Traditional Confirmations at Reading and New Brighton, organised respectively by the Fraternity of St Peter and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

Bishop John Arnold cuts a celebratory cake, surrounded by some of the Confirmation candidates
LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: ‘We are very grateful to Bishop Arnold for agreeing to confer the Sacrament on what has been a very successful and happy day. We always attract a good number of candidates to receive Confirmation in the Traditional Rite, but this year’s turnout has been exceptional. It demonstrates that the attraction of the Extraordinary Form as part of Catholic life for many families is continuing to grow.’
There are more photos of the event here.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Mass Changes for December 2013

There are several Mass changes for December 2013.

Firstly, the Halesowen Mass will not be taking place on the 11th and 25th of December (and was at 8am this morning). However, there will be a Mass in the area every Wednesday in December. The 11th will see our first 2nd Wednesday Maryvale Mass and the Oratory will be holding High Mass at 10.30am on the 25th, Christmas day.

Secondly, the 9.30am Saturday morning Mass at the Oratory will be temporarily replaced with a 7.30am Rorate Mass at the Lady Altar for the Saturdays in Advent.

Rorate Mass at the Oratory's Lady Altar
Finally, if the 7.30am Saturday Mass is too early for you, this Saturday there will be a 10am Mass at St John Fisher in West Heath as part of our Advent morning of prayer and recollection.

I hope you will be able to make some of these events.

Update 08/12/2013: I understand there will now be a Mass at Halesowen on this Wednesday (11/12/2013) - please phone to check. There will also be two Christmas Day Low Masses in addition to the High Mass at the Oratory: 8.00am at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Wolverhampton, Cannock Road, Wolverhampton WV10 8PG and 8.30am at St John Fisher, 1 Cofton Rd, West Heath, Birmingham B31 3QT

Saturday, 30 November 2013

2nd Wednesday Mass at the Maryvale Institute

Maryvale Chapel (Photo credit: Newman Friends International)
I am pleased to announce that, starting on the 11th December 2013, there will be a monthly Extraordinary Form Mass at the Chapel of the Maryvale Institute on the second Wednesday of the month.

Maryvale was the first Catholic home of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman and was formally erected by the Holy See as the first Higher Institute of Religious Sciences in the English-speaking world. It is internationally renowned (probably with a better reputation outside the UK than within) and attracts students from across the UK for its range of courses in catecetics, further and higher education and research degrees.

This is the first regular Extraordinary Form Mass in the North Birmingham deanery and a very exciting development with plenty of potential: it is hoped in the longer term we will be able to celebrate a monthly Sung Mass. Please do your best to support it if you live in the area as the long term future of this Mass is uncertain but it will obviously be more likely to succeed if we can demonstrate demand.

My heartfelt thanks go to Fr Paul Lester who will celebrate this Mass and has made it possible.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Advent Morning of Prayer and Recollection

Fr George Grynowski has kindly informed me that the West Heath Mass tomorrow (6.30pm St John Fisher, 1 Cofton Rd, West Heath, Birmingham B31 3QT) will be a Low Mass of Requiem for the deceased members of the Latin Mass Society in the Birmingham and Black Country region. Please do your best to attend if you can do so.

Fr George has also kindly offered us the use of his church for the local society's first ever Advent morning of Prayer and Recollection, which will take place on Saturday 7th December 2013. Everyone is welcome to join us - if you have never travelled to the Church before, it is at the terminus of the number 45 bus which can be caught on Station Street just outside New Street station. The morning will be led by Fr Daniel Horgan and the format of the day will be as follows:
St John Fisher, West Heath

10.00am Mass
11.00am Tea and Coffee
11.15am Talk by Fr Horgan
11.40am Rosary
12 noon Exposition
12.45am Benediction

Feel free to publicise this to anyone who may be interested. If you know someone who is coming and is able and prepared to serve, could you let me know - I am hoping that we will have a server in place but it would be useful to know if anyone is planning to attend who can serve.

My plan is for there to be at least one day set aside for such an event in Advent and Lent at different locations around the area. If you have any ideas for possible future locations please let me know - this could be an excellent opportunity to introduce the Extraordinary Form to a church which does not currently celebrate it. I do apologise to members who do not live in the south of the city - my preferred location was more central but unfortunately we were unable to be accommodated by the time we tried to book the event. May I take this opportunity to publicly thank Fr George for allowing us to hold the event at West Heath and for all his support to the local LMS community over the last few years.

Another big announcement will follow in the next couple of days...

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sung Mass of Requiem and Rorate Masses

Fr Richard celebrates Mass at Our Lady's Altar
The Birmingham Oratory has several additional Masses over the next two weeks as detailed below:

Monday 25/11/2013 6pm: Final Mass of Requiem for Holy Souls at the Holy Souls Altar, followed by Sung Vespers of the Dead in the Shrine of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

Friday 30/11/2013 6pm: The regular Friday Mass will be a Sung Mass of Requiem for Deceased Fathers and Brothers of the Oratory

Monday 2/12/2013-Friday 6/12/2013 (except Thursday) 6pm - Novena for the Immaculate Conception: Rorate Mass followed by Sung Litany of Loreto (preceded by Rosary at 5.40pm). Thursday: Holy Hour and Novena Prayers. Devotions begin after 11am Mass (OF) on Saturday.

I hope to be making a couple of important announcements over the next few days - watch this space!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

LMS Members Elected to FIUV

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos with James Bogle
(More photos available here)
At the biennial General Assembly of the International Federation Una Voce (FIUV), the international body representing lay groups attached to the Traditional liturgy, Mr James Bogle, barrister and former Chairman of the Catholic Union, was elected President. Mr Bogle is also a Committee member of the Latin Mass Society. The LMS is a founding member of FIUV in 1965 and its largest member. Dr Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the LMS, was elected Treasurer of FIUV and Mr Thomas Murphy was elected the Secretary. Mr Thomas Murphy, belongs to an Irish association member of FIUV, St Conleth’s Catholic Heritage Association, and the FIUV Council includes members from North and South America, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the Philippines. Matthew Schellhorn, LMS Local Representative for Southwark North, was co-opted to the FIUV Committee. Matthew also organised a professional choir to provide some superb music for the various liturgies during the FIUV Assembly. The retiring President, Mr Leo Darroch, had held the post since 2007. During the General Assembly the Federation was addressed by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, and had Mass and Vespers in the Chapel of the Choir, in St Peter’s Basilica. Walter, Cardinal Brandmüller and Archbishop Guido Pozzo were among the celebrants.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Monday Night Requiem Masses at the Oratory

Fr Anton celebrates Mass at Holy Souls Altar
I managed to attend the 6.00pm Monday Low Mass of Requiem at the Oratory last Monday which they are holding throughout the month of November followed by Sung Vespers of the Dead. The numbers were very good: I counted around forty people present. Perhaps in part, this was because the Mass was celebrated just before the opening talk of Jeff Cavins UK Bible Tour, where he talked about how he left the Catholic Church to become a successful protestant pastor before being drawn back to the church by researching the history of early Christianity: as Newman once said, to be steeped in history is to cease to be protestant. In part of his story, he was told by his Bishop he would one day come back to the Catholic Church and was labelled "little Newman". In the end, four things in particular drew him back to the Catholic Church: 1) the Eucharist, which is rarely celebrated or is often sidelined in protestant churches, 2) the veneration of Mary by the early Christians 3) the papacy, which is attested to by the Church Fathers and has a scriptural basis in the Old Testament in Isaiah 22 and 4) the fact the early Christians held onto Tradition as well as Scripture. Just as with Newman, Cavins realised that the Church today that most closely followed what the early Christians believed was the Catholic Church and after making peace with his father, who he had fallen out with after leaving the church, he came home and now spends his time opening up the Bible to Catholics. Unsurprisingly, bad catechesis was part of the reason he left the Catholic Church in the first place.

Part of the problem with the organising Traditional Masses is there is a danger that only the same small coterie of people attend. It is important that we open up the beauty of the Traditional Mass to people who have not had the chance to experience it before, and may have a negative image of it from what they have been told previously. I am sure that some people who came to listen to Jeff Cavins talk came to the Mass beforehand and would never have attended an Extraordinary Form Mass before. What did they make of it? How do we address the questions they would have?

As we come to the end of the liturgical year, I am pondering how I can increase provision of the Extraordinary Form Mass and how I can get more people to experience it in the West Midland area. I have a priest who is willing to give and advent reflection including Mass, probably on a Saturday in December, if there is enough interest. Could people please let me know if they would be interested in such an event by the end of the week so I can look at putting it on. If anyone has an idea for a good location that would also be welcome as our preferred choice was unavailable on the dates required.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Eight EF Masses in Twenty-Four Hours

Picture courtesy of the Birmingham Oratory Gallery
November is traditionally the month where we pray for the souls of the dead and Birmingham saw eight Extraordinary Form Masses celebrated within twenty-four hours on the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, seven of which took place at the Oratory, one of which was a High Mass, and one at St John Fisher in West Heath. For the remainder of November, there will be a weekly 6.00pm Monday Low Mass of Requiem at the Oratory followed by Sung Vespers of the Dead, and Stations of the Cross, which attract a plenary indulgence under the normal conditions, will follow the regular Friday Mass at 6.00pm.

Tonight there is also the first Monday Mass at 6.30pm at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Redditch.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

All Saints and All Souls Masses

There are two Extraordinary Form Low Masses available in the Birmingham area for the Feast of All Saints: both the Oratory and St John Fisher in West Heath will be celebrating their usual Friday evening Masses which will satisfy the obligation to hear Mass on that day. The latter is a rare opportunity to attend an EF Mass on a Holyday of Obligation in a local parish church and may well attract some first timers - please be gentle with them so that they are encouraged to come back! St John Fisher does have some small missalettes to help those who attend follow the Mass, so if you have never been before I do encourage you to go.

For All Souls on Saturday, there will be an High Mass of Requiem at 11am in the Oratory to the setting by Maurice Durufle:

Please note, this replaces the regular 9.30am Low Mass. If you are unable to attend this Mass, a list of further further EF (and OF) Masses that will be said on All Souls day will be available from the Oratory later in the week (Update 31/10/2013 - there will be an EF Low Mass starting every half hour between 7.30am and 9.30am - please see Fr Richard's comment below on this article).

Monday, 28 October 2013

Bishop Philip Egan presides from the throne at EF High Mass in Portsmouth Cathedral

Rt Rev Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth, presided from the throne at a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form, organised by the Latin Mass Society, at Portsmouth Cathedral on Sunday, 27th October.

The Traditional High Mass was the first at the cathedral for four years and joins the weekly Sunday morning Low Mass that has begun at Portsmouth’s mother church in recent weeks. Despite warnings of dire weather conditions, the Mass was well attended.

The celebrant was Fr Phillip Pennington Harris, and the deacon was Rev Stephen Morgan, both of Portsmouth Diocese. The sub-deacon was Fr John Maunder of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, based at St Agatha’s, Portsmouth. Music was provided by the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge, directed by Christopher Hodkinson.

During his homily, Bishop Egan said that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass was welcome in Portsmouth Diocese where people wished it to be celebrated, and should have a place amongst the liturgical diversity of the diocese. He also highlighted the importance to the Church’s liturgy in both forms of the Roman Rite of Gregorian Chant and the Latin language. The bishop then spoke on the subject of the feast of Christ the King, celebrated on that Sunday in the 1962 Calendar. When Pope Pius XI had instituted it, it had been intended as a corrective to the rampant nationalism seen in inter-war Italy. Today, said the bishop, it still has great relevance as a corrective to the rise of secularism in our society.

After Mass, tea had been organised by the LMS in the cathedral centre and Bishop Egan stayed to talk with very many members of the congregation.

LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: ‘We were delighted that Bishop Egan was able to join us on this great occasion and were heartened by his words of welcome to those of us who are attached to the Traditional Latin liturgy and by the bishop’s affirmation of its legitimate place within the life of the Catholic Church. The annual High Mass at Portsmouth Cathedral has been revived after several years and today’s event has proved a great success and a very joyful occasion for all who attended.’

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Review of the ICKSP Retreat at Pantasaph

Photo courtesy of Wrexham LMS blog
Last weekend I was lucky to take part in a retreat on the Theology and Spirtuality of the Traditional Mass, run by the ICKSP at the Franciscan Retreat Centre in Pantasaph, the usual venue of the LMS Latin Course and Summer School. Amongst the usual retreat fare of Mass, adoration, rosary and confessions (I think this was the first time I took part in a confession where I was absolved in Latin), there were five talks on mainly the theology of the Traditional Mass, but also on the spirituality of the Traditional Mass. There was a particularly good talk on the Saturday evening on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which demonstrated that it is not merely a devotion that came about in the Middle Ages but was part of the tradition of the Church from the beginning and indeed has a basis in the Mass.

The symbolism of much of the Mass was explained such as the purpose of the all the signs of the cross the priest makes during the Canon. There was some very useful information on the symbolism of the Epistle, Gospel and Creed in the Mass, on how they are read and by whom: the Subdeacon reads the Epistle on the side representing the Jews, and then symbolically transfers the Gospels to the Deacon, representing the transferring of the covenant to the gentiles. The Deacon proclaims the Gospel to the North, the direction which the pagan dwell, and it is then passed back to the Subdeacon, representing the conversion of the Jewish people at the end of time. The Creed is then recited for the believers. This is all very pertinent information for those of us in Birmingham who have the rare opportunity of attending a weekly Solemn High Mass at the Oratory!

It is a pity more people were not able to benefit from this retreat - there were around ten people attending in total and we had three people from the Birmingham and Black Country region present. A write-up from the Wrexham LMS representative, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the retreat, is available here.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Forty Hours' Devotion EF Masses

Above is a picture from the High Mass of Exposition at the Birmingham Oratory for the Forty Hours' Devotion that took place on Tuesday. I understand Fr Richard will be celebrating a Low Mass at the Martyrs altar in the Birmingham Oratory at 8am tomorrow (Thursday 17th October).

Traditional Catholic Weekends Away

LMS General Manager Mike Lord  has produced another video, this time on the Walking Pilgrimage from Ely to Walsingham that took place in August:

If you are interested in getting away from it all with a traditional Catholic retreat, there are two options available this weekend. Firstly, there is a retreat on the Theology and Spirituality of the Traditional Mass run by the ICKSP at Pantasaph which I think may still have some places available. There is also a Young Catholic Adults National Weekend taking place at the Cold Ash Retreat Centre. Further details are available on the Young Catholic Adults events page.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

High Mass of Exposition at the Birmingham Oratory

It is the Quarant' Ore devotion at the Birmingham Oratory this week, beginning with High Mass of Exposition in the Extraordinary Form at 7pm on Tuesday 15th October. It ends with Extraordinary Form Sung Vespers of the Blessed Sacrament (Mozart Vesperae Solennes de Confessore K 339) at 7pm on Thursday 16th October concluding with procession and Benediction. Of course, EF Sung Vespers and Benediction also happens every Sunday at the Oratory at 4.30pm before the 5.30pm Mass in English.

Picture courtesy of Oratory website
The full schedule is as follows:

Tuesday 15th October
7.00pm High Mass of Exposition Procession and Benediction
11.00pm Deposition

Wednesday 16th October
7.30am Mass
8.00am Exposition
12.30pm Mass
8.00pm Conducted Holy Hour
9.00pm Sung Compline
11.00pm Deposition 

Thursday 16th October 
7.30am Mass
8.00am Exposition
12.30pm Mass
7.00pm Sung Vespers of the Blessed Sacrament 

Please note that all other Masses (at 7.30am and 12.30pm on Wednesday and Thursday) will be in English. If you do manage to spend some time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, could I please request that you keep the activities of the Birmingham and Black Country Latin Mass Society in your prayers.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

October Mass Changes

The view towards Halewsowen from outside Our Lady and St Kenelm
There are several temporary changes to the Masses in October. Firstly, Fr George is away which means that the first Monday Mass in Redditch in neighbouring Worcestershire and the Friday Masses scheduled for the 11th and 18th October at West Heath have been cancelled. I was hoping to get some cover for the latter Masses, but unfortunately this was not possible. Alternative Friday provision is available at the Birmingham Oratory and Wolverhampton. The 18th also sees the beginning of the Retreat on the Theology and Spirituality of the Traditional Mass in Pantasaph, which may be an alternative if you are able to attend for the whole weekend.

Towards the end of the month there are also some amendments to the Masses at Halesowen: the Mass on the 23rd is cancelled, and the Mass on the 30th has been moved to 8am in the morning. I am now getting quarterly updates on the Halesowen Masses and will be updating the calendar in the sidebar with any changes of which I am aware. However, I would still recommend you ring up beforehand (telephone number 0121 602 1972) if you plan to attend because there can be some last minute changes and I myself was caught out earlier this year when I travelled to Halesowen for the noon Mass only to find out that it had been moved at the last minute to 8am. I took the opportunity to take the photo above.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Changing Times

The above is a photo I came across via Twitter, from a 1942 LIFE magazine, showing a priest taking Holy Communion to the sick. He is being led by an altar boy carrying a candle; a sight we are unlikely to see nowadays. H/T The Deacons Bench.

Another post I came across via Twitter was an article entitled Why I'm Not a Traditionalist (But We're Going to Latin Mass Anyways...). I offer it here merely as a prompt for discussion. It strikes me that as we end the month where we celebrated the sixth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, and with the ongoing and neverending discussions about the liturgical tastes of Pope Francis, one of the things we seem to have lost is how Pope Benedict's Motu Proprio on the Latin Mass introduced the EF to a generation who would never have experienced it otherwise and would not necessarily describe themselves as "Traditionalists". I know people influenced by the charismatic movements who are increasingly becoming liturgically more "traditional" when it comes to the Mass, often as a result of an opportunity to experience the Extraordinary Form made possible by Summorum Pontificum over the last few years. A Pope may lead by example indeed, but are we underestimating the impact of more local efforts to improve the liturgy?

Don't sit on the sidelines and moan - do your bit and join the Latin Mass Society today.

Friday, 13 September 2013

High Mass for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

On Saturday, the Oratory will be having a High Mass at 12 noon for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, followed by a procession and veneration of the Relic of the True Cross. This is of course the sixth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum and so is an excellent opportunity to give thanks for the document which makes so much of the work of the LMS possible. Please note that the 12 noon Mass replaces the Saturday Low Mass at 9.30am.

Saturday also coincides with the Day of Reconciliation: Archbishop Bernard Longley has requested that every parish make confession available between 11am and 12 noon this Saturday so that people can rediscover the beauty of this wonderful sacrament. Interestingly, recent reports suggest that there has been a boom in confessions since the election of Pope Francis. The Oratory will be providing an opportunity for confession between 10am and 12 noon, and 2.30pm to 5.30pm.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

'Private' Masses

A 'private' Mass at the Birmingham Oratory
Last week Dr Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society, wrote a blogpost on a document recently released in German and Italian on the importance of priests celebrating Mass daily, even if that means it is celebrated without a congregation, sometimes known as 'private' Masses. The term 'private' Mass of course is no longer used as it is a bit of a misnomer: every Mass is in some sense an act of public celebration of the Church. Coincidentally, the excellent Chasubles and Chalices blog posted some photographs of private Masses that take place at the Birmingham Oratory, including the photograph included on this blogpost. Go to the blog to view the rest.

The Birmingham Oratory sometimes has a 'private' EF Mass on Saturday's at the Altar of Our Lady at around 8-8.30am if you are unable to make the more widely publicised 9.30am EF Mass, but please phone up to check it is on beforehand to avoid a wasted journey.

Monday, 2 September 2013

LMS Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham ‘Best Yet’

The Latin Mass Society’s annual walking pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Walsingham took place over August Bank Holiday weekend. The fourth consecutive year of this event saw 90 people (a 25% per cent rise on last year) undertaking the three-day journey on foot to ‘England’s Nazareth’. The intention of the 55-mile walk, which started in the cathedral city of Ely in Cambridgeshire, was the conversion of England. Pilgrims slept in tents or on the floors of school and village halls along the way and clearly many found it more challenging than they had expected, but all managed to reach the Shrine in time for Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form on the afternoon of Sunday, 25 August.

The pilgrimage procession in Walsingham High Street
Four priests accompanied the pilgrimage. Fr Bede Rowe of Clifton Diocese, presently based at Chavagnes College in France, was chaplain of the pilgrimage. He was joined by Fr Thomas Crean, OP, of Holy Cross Priory, Leicester, Fr John Cahill of Northampton Diocese, and Fr Michael Rowe (no kin) from Australia. In addition, three English seminarians from the Fraternity of St Peter joined the event as well as member of the Dominican community at Blackfriars, Cambridge. Traditional Solemn Mass was celebrated every day of the pilgrimage, most notably at Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk, a fifteenth century moated manor house and former recusant home, still lived in by the Bedingfeld family.

LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: ‘By common consent, this has been the best year for this
The pilgrimage concludes by the Abbey ruins in Walsingham
pilgrimage so far. The overwhelming majority of walkers are young families and young people, showing the continuing vitality of the Traditional Mass and Faith. Many are encountering the Old Rite for the first time and have found the experience of the traditional spirituality of the Roman Rite and the spiritual and physical discipline of a walking pilgrimage an inspiring and transforming experience. Our entrance into Walsingham itself was memorable. On other public pilgrimages organised by the LMS, it is common to encounter hostility in the street, but as we approached the gates of the Abbey grounds to the former site of Lady Richeldis’s Holy House, the response of bystanders was very positive, even awed.’

The LMS plans to release a short film documentary in the early autumn about this year’s pilgrimage to inform and inspire others to join them for next year’s event.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Retreat on the Theology and Spirituality of the Traditional Mass

I have recently added a couple of regional LMS websites to my sidebar. If I am missing any, please leave a comment on this post.

One of the sites I have added, for LMS Wrexham, highlighted a retreat at Pantasaph organised by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest on the Theology and Spirituality of the Traditional Mass, which will take place between the 18th and 20th October. I believe this had been planned before but was cancelled due to a lack of interest, so please think about supporting it if you are able. The cost for the weekend is £90, and it takes place at the Franciscan retreat centre at Pantasaph, a fine setting where I attended the LMS Latin Course last year. For more information, download a flyer and/or booking form.

The ICKSP have recently received a heritage lottery grant for the restoration of their church in the Wirral. A report by the BBC can be found here.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham

There will be a Low Mass tomorrow at the Birmingham Oratory at 6pm for the Feast of the Assumption.

If you have not got any plans for the Bank Holiday weekend, perhaps you would consider joining the LMS pilgrimage to Walsingham? Unfortunately, work commitments means I am unable to participate, but I was able to join the Blessed John Paul II pilgrimage organised by the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph last weekend after being informed about it by Joanna Bogle, who writes about her experience here. Having experienced it, I can thoroughly recommend it, although I would suggest you are equipped with a good pair of walking shoes! Above is a picture taken by Sr Theresa of the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham soon after the pilgrims arrived at the Slipper Chapel.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Our Lady of the Snows

Fr George celebrating Mass in Redditch

Due to Fr George's pastoral commitments, this week's Friday Mass (9th August) at West Heath has been cancelled. However, no doubt in part due to the first Friday devotion, we are blessed in the West Midlands with two other regular Friday evening EF Masses at the Oratory at 6pm and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Wolverhampton at 6.30pm. Perhaps if you usually go to West Heath or were thinking of going this week you might consider one of these alternatives instead - more details are available in the sidebar.

It was, however, possible to satisfy the weekly fix of a Fr George EF Mass tonight as he celebrated the first Monday Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Redditch (pictured above), a satellite town of Birmingham which strictly speaking falls under Worcestershire but has obvious links with our area. In the Novus Ordo, the Optional Memoria today is the Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major. Until 1969 though and therefore in the 1962 Missal, it was known as Dedicatio Sanctæ Mariæ ad Nives (Dedication of the Church of Our Lady of the Snows), based on the following (probably) mythical story:
There lived in the Eternal City a nobleman, John and his childless wife, who had been blessed with much of this world’s goods. They chose the Mother of God as the heir to their fortune, and at the suggestion of Pope Liberius, prayed that she might make known to them how to do this by a particular sign.
In answer, the Virgin Mother during the night of August 5, appeared to John and his wife and also to the Holy Father, Pope Liberius, directing them to build a church in her honor on the crown of the Esquiline Hill. And what would be the sign that John and his wife had requested?
“Snow will cover the crest of the hill.”
Snow rarely falls in Rome, but the flakes fell silently during that night, blanketing the peak of the historic hill. In the morning the news quickly spread and crowds gathered to throng up the hill and behold the white splendor. The snow had fallen in a particular pattern, showing the outline of the future church. When it became known that the snow was a sign from Mary, the people spontaneously added another to her long list of titles, Our Lady of the Snows.
The doctrine of Theotokos, Mary as the Mother of God, was defined dogmatically at the Council of Ephesus in 431. Pope Sixtus III (432-440) erected a basilica at Rome on the Esquiline Hill in honour of the Mother of God which later became know as St Mary Major, the oldest church in the west dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

The New Evangelisation

Sunday High Mass at the Birmingham Oratory, Advent 2011
Fr Z picks up on the theme of the New Evangelisation by drawing on an article from the Archdiocese of Miami which shows how, ironically, the Old Rite is drawing young people back to the Church and even attracting converts. Of particular interest to our area is the following:
Likewise, his girlfriend, Vida Tavakoli, knew she had found her home in the Catholic Church when she first attended Latin Mass in England.

Formerly an atheist, her aversion toward religion changed at the end of her college career, when she became a Protestant. During her post-collegiate travels she became resolute in converting to Catholicism after attending a Missa Cantata, or sung Mass, in the parish of her favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien, a devout Catholic who penned the “Lord of the Rings” series.
The parish of J.R.R Tolkien which celebrates an Old Rite Missa Cantata? Surely it can only be our very own Birmingham Oratory, which appears to be sowing the seeds of Traditional Catholicism not only in our area but across the world?

As one of the younger generation who is attracted to the Traditional Mass, I am under no illusion about the challenges we face in our changing society over the next few years and decades. As a recent article in the New Statesman puts it:
Take, for example, the results of a YouGov poll of "Generation Y" released yesterday. Only 25 per cent say that they believe in God, as opposed 38 per cent who definitely don't. It may not be surprising that fewer than ten per cent attend religious worship on anything like a regular basis (at least once a month) but one finding stands out starkly. 41 per cent thought that religion was the cause of more harm than good in the world. Only 14 per cent (a considerably smaller figure than that for belief in God) thought that religion was, on balance, a good thing. Richard Dawkins and the other "New Atheists" would seem to have got their message across.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the experiments of the last forty years, under the cover of but not necessarily mandated by the Second Vatican Council, have spectacularly failed in attracting new people to the Church and if anything, have helped push those already in the Church away from her. If we are going to win the culture wars with the aggressively anti-religious secularists, we are going to have to draw on the treasures that have served us well for hundreds if not thousands of years.

The Birmingham Oratory has a High Mass every Sunday at 10.30am, and Low Masses on Friday at 6.30pm and Saturday at 9.30am. See the sidebar for further details.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Recent Mass Reports

I forgot to take my camera but here is a photograph taken with my mobile phone of the Annual High Mass on the Old Rite Feast for St John Fisher and St Thomas More at St John Fisher Church in West Heath. Around 25 people were in attendance, with around eight in the choir and seven on the sanctuary. I managed to meet Columb and Merryn Howell, the longstanding reps for Worcestershire, at the buffet after.

I also managed to attend the weekly 6pm EF Mass at the Birmingham Oratory last night which was attended by around fourteen people.

After several problems, a calendar of local EF Masses has been added to the sidebar and now contains the correct times, but particularly for the Halesowen Mass and for Masses at all churches over the summer, please check with the parish before travelling.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Annual High Mass for St John Fisher and St Thomas More

West Heath High Mass 2010
Fr George welcomes us once again to St John Fisher at West Heath on Tuesday 9th July 2013 at 7pm for  High Mass in honour of the patron saint of the parish and his fellow English martyr St Thomas More. The photo above is from the same Mass in 2010 - there are better pictures but I chose this one because it includes me as the server at the back on the right, the only time I have attended this Mass and indeed served in the Extraordinary Form.

Mass will be celebrated by Fr Richard Duncan of the Birmingham Oratory with Fr Jan Nowotnik acting as Deacon and Brother Andrew of the Oratory as Subdeacon. Music will be provided by the Oratory, ably led by Oliver Hayes, and refreshments will be provided in the parish hall after Mass. A High Mass organised by a parish is a rare thing so I do hope you will be able to support this endeavour. Low Mass takes place here every Friday at 6.30pm - see the sidebar for further details and directions.

Speaking of the Oratory - I believe there will be a Low Mass at 6pm tonight for the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Missa Cantata for St Peter and St Paul

Just a reminder that the weekly 9.30am Mass at the Birmingham Oratory tomorrow will be a Missa Cantata for the Feast of St Peter and St Paul.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

First Monday Redditch Mass - One-off Change for July

Earlier this year, in his last act on this blog, Dr Matthew Doyle advertised a Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Redditch, which normally takes place on the first Monday of the month. Due to Fr George's commitments, the next Mass will take place on the second Monday of the month, 8th July 2013, as a one-off.

View Larger Map

Around a dozen or so people are turning up to this Mass at the moment, which is good but could be better. We do not have a Monday Mass in the Birmingham area so perhaps if you live in South Birmingham (or further!) you would consider supporting it.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Annuntio Vobis Gaudium Magnum: Habemus...

It has been just over a month since I was appointed the Latin Mass Society Representative for Birmingham and the Black Country but I have had so many events to post about I have not had time to properly introduce myself. Cardinal Tauran, who famously announced Pope Francis' election to the Papacy, was in Birmingham on Saturday as part of his duties as President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and so I thought it might be an appropriate time to reveal who I am, especially as I introduced myself in my new capacity to the Archbishop of Birmingham outside St Chad's Cathedral after a special Vespers for the occasion on Sunday (the occasion of course being the visit of Cardinal Tauran and not my appointment as Birmingham LMS rep):
Archbishop Bernard Longley and I (right)
His Grace and I were honoured to be in the presence of Radley Russell (centre left) who you may know from his roles in such BBC dramas as White Van Man and Doctors, not to mention his appearances as an extra in such acclaimed American series such as Desperate Housewives and The Wire. He also greeted the Pope Emeritus on behalf of the students of Newman University College at Cofton Park a few years ago, but managed to take time out of his busy schedule to be pictured with us.

Cardinal Tauran was reported to be unimpressed at my appointment.

"What do you mean they have appointed that idiot Louis as Birmingham LMS Representative? I must inform the Holy Father at once!"
The pictures are courtesy of Marcin Mazur, photographer to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. If you meet him, can you remind him that he still owes Radley some photos from the Papal Visit.

I still plan to write to local members to introduce myself and the new Assistant Representative in the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

New Gregorian Chant Group in Stourbridge

As mentioned in the last post, a new Gregorian Chant group will be starting at Our Lady and All Saints Church in Stourbridge on Wednesday 19th June at 7.30pm (please note that the time and date has changed since it was originally advertised).

It will start from the very beginning with the Missa de Angelis, Credo 3 and Pater Noster, designed with young adults who have not had much exposure to this kind of music before in mind (although anyone of any age and ability is welcome to join). The initial plan is for the group to perform at St Chad's Cathedral's 2nd Friday Masses (OF) for young adults, so called because they take place on the 2nd Friday of each month (there is one this Friday 14th June) and hopefully, if the opportunity arises, selected EF Masses in the future.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Two Ways to Learn Gregorian Chant

Have you been inspired by Father Z's recent blogpost, Gregorian Chant Will Save the World? Here are two ways you can learn:

1. A new chant group will begin on Wednesday 19th June 7.30pm at Our Lady and All Saints Church in Stourbridge. Frank Fahey, a very gifted organist and choir master, will be the instructor. It will start from the very beginning with young adults who have not had much exposure to this kind of music in mind, although anyone of any age and ability can join, by learning the Missa de Angelis, Credo 3 and Pater Noster.

2. The LMS, in conjunction with the St Catherine's Trust, organise a Gregorian Chant Course that takes place over the same weekend as the St Catherine's Trust Family Retreat. They have produced a video to advertise the course if you want to have a look at what goes on:

One Weekend in April, Part Two: The Gregorian Chant Network Weekend Course from LMS on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Corpus Christi Sunday in Spetchley

I was not able to make the Corpus Christi Mass at the Birmingham Oratory on the traditional Thursday date, so I went to neighbouring Worcestershire to celebrate Corpus Christi with a Latin Mass and outdoor procession. The weather was glorious!

The Catholic Chapel of St John the Baptist is actually inside Spetchley House and is linked to the parish of St George's in Worcester.

There was a brief procession to the neighbouring disused medieval church.

The disused medieval Anglican Church is currently cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust. Maintaining a church like this can be prohibitively expensive, but would it not be wonderful if the Catholic Church could take it over again?

We ended with a brief period of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction, followed for some by a picnic in the beautiful grounds of Spetchley Park.

Update 09/06/2013: Fr Anthony Talbot's sermon at the Mass is now available here:

Monday, 27 May 2013

Corpus Christi in Birmingham and Worcestershire

For those who wish to celebrate Corpus Christi on the traditional day, there will be a Solemn High Mass and Procession at the Birmingham Oratory on 30th May 2013 at 7pm.

Fr Anthony Talbot will also have a Corpus Christi Mass and Procession at Spetchley Park in neighbouring Worcestershire on Sunday 2nd June. If the weather is good this may be followed by an outdoor picnic in the field afterwards.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Young Catholic Adults Pilgrimage to Harvington Hall

Next Sunday (2nd June), Young Catholic Adults, which is affiliated with the International Juventutem Movement, is having a pilgrimage to Harvington Hall in Worcestershire in honour of the English martyr St John Wall. The schedule is as follows:

YCA National St. John Wall Harvington Pilgrimage -
Sunday 2nd June 2013

11:30-12:00pm Arrival
12:00pm-1:20pm Guided Tour of the House
1:20pm-2:00pm – Lunch (packed lunch)
2:00-3:00pm – Free Time (chance to look at the grounds)
3:00pm Low/Sung Mass in the Parish Church (just outside the Hall)

Entrance Fees and How to Book

Inclusive Ticket (Hall, Malt House Visitor Centre & Gardens)
Adults: £8.00. Please send a deposit of £5 (cheque or cash) to D. Barker, 126 Curlew Road, Abbeydale, Gloucester, Glos. GL4 4TD.

How to get here

The Hall’s post code is: DY10 4LR.
Harvington Hall, Harvington, Kidderminster, Worcestershire DY10 4LR
The Hall is situated three miles south-east of Kidderminster, about half a mile east of the A450 Birmingham to Worcester road and about half-a-mile north of the A448 from Kidderminster to Bromsgrove. Grid. Ref. SO877745.

Facilities & Access

Free Parking, Gift Shop, Moatside Tea Room (serving coffee, light lunches and afternoon teas, it is possible to visit the tea room and shop with out paying entrance fees).
Telephone: (01562) 777846
Fax: (01562) 777190
Email: harvingtonhall@btconnect.com

View Larger Map

Harvington Hall is notable for its priest hides built by St Nicholas Owen. I remember going on my Confirmation retreat there. The local LMS Reps for Worcestershire, Merryn and Columb Howell, organise a monthly traditional Mass there: the next one will be at 3pm on Sunday 4th August. However, in order to help the Priest, the Mass on 2nd June and 7th July will take place at St Ambrose (Birmingham Road, KIDDERMINSTER, DY10 2BY) instead.

In other news, there will be an EF Mass at the Birmingham Oratory tomorrow at 9am.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Restoration of Weekly Saturday Mass at Birmingham Oratory

The Birmingham Oratory now has three active resident priests and so are able to announce a change to the Mass schedule. From Saturday 1st June onwards until further notice, there will be a public EF Mass every Saturday at 9.30am. On most Saturdays, this will be a Low Mass at the Lady Altar, but on days of extra solemnity, it will be a Missa Cantata at the High Altar. The first Missa Cantata will be on the Feast of Ss Peter and Paul on Saturday 29 June.

On most Saturdays, there will also be a (private) Low Mass at the Lady Altar at 8am, but this cannot be guaranteed, and people are advised to check with the Oratory before travelling if they wish to attend this mass.

 Please note that these arrangements will replace the current private Low Mass which takes place at 9am.

In other news, the Mass at 6pm on the Feast of the Sacred Heart (7th June) will also be a Missa Cantata.

May I ask that you please keep the Oratory in your prayers. The success of the Latin Mass in this region significantly depends on the success of the Oratory, and we are grateful for their continued support in the provision of the EF Mass.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Octave of Pentecost at the Birmingham Oratory

Photo: Benediction after Vespers of Pentecost at the Birmingham Oratory. (Photo credit: Birmingham Oratory Gallery - click here for more photos from Pentecost)

New Catholic writes on Rorate Caeli:

Traditional Catholics should in particular remember those calendar features that the 1968-1969 liturgist brigade tried to eradicate based on an antihistorical and false antiquarianism: Septuagesimatide, Ember Days, the Pentecost Octave... That is, the committeemen kept the octave day itself (the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity), but eliminated the days of the Octave - though the former is much less ancient than the latter. This great and ancient Octave even has its own Ember Days: if you have the chance, celebrate the Holy Ghost by attending weekday Masses during this Octave. And, if you do not have weekday TLMs available near you, there is always the great FSSP apostolate at LiveMass.org.
We are of course in this area lucky to have a 6pm daily Mass for the Octave of Pentecost at the Birmingham Oratory  from Monday to Friday this week. I am pleased to announce that, in addition, Fr Richard Duncan will be saying a Low Mass for the Ember Saturday of Pentecost at 9am this Saturday, which was not advertised in the Oratory newsletter. Do please try to attend if you could not make any of the evening masses.

You may also be interested in the following article by Fr Guy Nicholls of the Birmingham Oratory on the importance of restoring the liturgical observance of the Octave of Pentecost:


Monday, 20 May 2013

Daily EF Mass for the Octave of Pentecost

To mark the Octave of Pentecost, there will be a Mass in the Extraordinary Form every day this week from Monday to Friday at 6 p.m. at the Birmingham Oratory. This will be followed immediately with the Novena to St Philip, a short period of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. Please do your best to support these masses by attending if you are at all able.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

FSSP Year of Faith Retreat

Year of Faith retreat for all:
31 May-2 June 2013
'You shall be My witnesses' (Acts 1:8):
In the prayerful and relaxing setting of Douai Abbey, come and reflect with us on how to bear a more fruitful witness to Our Blessed Lord Jesus in our everyday lives.
Upper Woolhampton, Reading, West Berks. RG7 5TQ.
Starts Friday 5pm, ends Sunday 3pm.
Led by Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP, assisted by Fr Matthew Goddard FSSP.

(Picture: The Calling of Apostles, by Domenico Ghirlandaio)
Spiritual conferences and direction, Holy Masses, Eucharistic adoration.
Cost full board 2 days including VAT: £140 single room with ensuite bathroom, £110 shared room with ensuite bathroom or £90 without. Low income/Unwaged: contact us for significant discounts. Bookings/info: FSSP, 17 Eastern Avenue, Reading RG1 5RU, Berks. malleray@fssp.org. www.fssp.org.uk/england
Booking : please send us your £20 deposit (per person), made payable to FSSP ENGLAND. Remainder to be paid at the Abbey during the retreat.

Read online the latest edition of our quarterly magazine Dowry N°17 (Winter 2013).

Please pray for our 7 English seminarians and for 3 more applying for next autumn.

To contact us:
Priestly Fraternity of St Peter in England, 17 Eastern Avenue, Reading RG1 5RU, Berkshire, England
Telephone: 0118 966 5284;
Fr de Malleray: malleray@fssp.org;
Fr Goddard: goddard@fssp.org

Friday, 17 May 2013

The Decline of the Catholic Church in England and Wales since the 1960s

Newly released statistics show the decline of the Catholic Church in England and Wales in 1960s and 1970s.

Research by Latin Mass Society has demonstrated the striking decline of a range of statistical indications of the health of the Catholic Church in England and Wales in the 1960s and 1970s.
To our knowledge this data has never been made available in collated form before: the number of ordinations year by year since 1860, the number of priests since 1890, and baptisms, marriages, and receptions, and estimates of the Catholic population, since 1913.

Among the findings are:
Marriages: The number of marriages collapsed by a third between 1968 and 1978 (from 47,417 to 31,534), and has continued a rapid decline since then, now standing at less than 10,000 a year, a quarter of the 1968 level in absolute terms, and even less in relation to the estimated Catholic population (from 12 per thousand in 1968) to 2½ per thousand in 2010).

Marriages per 1000 of the Catholic population of England and Wales (1913-2010)
Conversions fell off a cliff in the 1960s. From a peak of 15,794 in 1959, it fell to 5,117 in 1972; in relation the Catholic population, it fell by more than 70% between those two years. It has not recovered.
Receptions in England and Wales (1913-2010)

Baptisms halved between 1964 and 1977 (137,673 in 1964 to 68,351 in 1977), and are even lower today (oscillating around the 60,000 mark). This is not just the effect of the end of the ‘baby boom’: considered in relation to total live births for England and Wales (using data from the Office for National Statistics), the first half of the 20th century saw steady growth, with Catholic baptisms peaking at nearly 16% of all live births in 1963. This was followed by a decline of a third between the mid 1960s and the mid 1970s. A more gentle decline has continued to the present: today fewer than 10% of babies born alive in England and Wales are being baptised in the Catholic Church. 

Catholic baptisms as a percentage of all live births in England and Wales (1941-2010_
Ordinations fell by more than 56% between 1965 and 1977 (from 233 to 101), and the decline has continued. Even on the more optimistic figures supplied by the National Office of Vocations (compared to the Catholic Directory) for the current year, showing an increase on recent years, numbers are at scarcely 30% of their 1964 level. (Counting only ordinations to the diocesan clergy, there were 134 in 1964; the NOV predicts 41 this year.)
Ordinations (1860-2011)

Dr Joseph Shaw, the Chairman of the Latin Mass Society, who led the research, comments:
‘Anyone with an interest in the future of the Catholic Church in England and Wales will find these figures illuminating. They show unambiguously that something went seriously wrong in the Church in England and Wales in the 1960s and 1970s. Catholics ceased quite suddenly to see the value of getting married, having large families, and having their children baptised. Non-Catholics no longer perceived the Church as the ark of salvation, and ceased to seek admission. Young men no longer offered themselves for the priesthood in the same numbers as before.

‘It is not fanciful to connect this catastrophe to the wrenching changes which were taking place in the Church at that time, when the Second Vatican Council was being prepared, discussed, and, often erronesouly, applied. As Pope Benedict wrote in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007):
in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.
‘The theological and liturgical fashions of that era were invariably justified by the hope of positive pastoral results, and these results manifestly failed to materialise.

‘The effect of dissent from the Church’s teaching is particularly manifest in relation to contraception, which has had a direct consequence on the Catholic birth rate, as reflected in the number of baptisms, compared to the national birth rate.

‘The Church in England and Wales today has fewer than half the ordinations each year than it had in the 1860s, but more than double the number of priests. A large proportion of those priests, however, will die or have to stop work over the next decade. In this respect we are still living on our capital, and this capital is about to run out.

‘The Extraordinary Form has not lost its power to attract young men to the priesthood, and the communities which have grown up around it today provide disproportionate numbers of vocations, marriages, and baptisms. Thirteen young men from England and Wales are currently studying for the priesthood in the different religious orders committed to the Extraordinary Form; three more should join them in September; these are numbers which many dioceses would envy.

‘We believe that the Extraordinary Form (the Traditional Mass) has an important role to play in resolving the crisis in the Church.’

Notes on the statistics.
Unless otherwise indicated, the statistics are taken from the Catholic Directory. Statistics for ordinations can be recovered only by manually counting the lists of men ordained each year; some of this work was done by the Rev. Stephen Morgan and a team at the Diocese of Portsmouth. The Latin Mass Society has filled in the gaps in Rev. Morgan’s figures and extended the range of dates covered in both directions. In addition, the LMS has added the total number of clergy, and the numbers given in the Directory’s ‘Recapitulation of Statistics’ since 1913, which include Baptisms, Marriages, Adult Conversions (renamed ‘Receptions’ in 1976), and estimates of the Catholic population.

We are very grateful to the Rev. Stephen Morgan for letting us use the fruits of his research, to the Fathers of the London Oratory for giving us access to their library, and to a number of Latin Mass Society volunteers for their time.

For further information contact either: Mike Lord, General Manager, on 020 7404 7284 or michael@lms.org.uk

The full press release (reproduced here) on the LMS website:

A downloadable spreadsheet showing all the figures with 13 graphs:

JPEGs of all the graphs on a Flickr set:

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