News Archive

Thursday 25 August 2016

The Monks of Norcia in the Earthquake

Our friends from the Benedictine monastery at Norcia have been affected by the terrible earthquake yesterday in Italy. Norcia is the birthplace of St Benedict and St Scholastica, and a new and vibrant community of monks has been there again since the Holy Year 2000, to restore monastic life in its primitive form.


The monks have been painstakingly restoring the monastery and basilica, which have now both suffered grave damage in the earthquake.


It being the feast of St Bartholomew, the monks were already up at the time of the tremor. They led the people of Norcia in the Rosary in the main square.


The community is unable to occupy its buildings at present, because they may be unsafe, and so they are being sheltered at Sant'Anselmo in Rome. Two monks have remained behind to stay in tents near the monastery, to protect the monastic buildings and the basilica.


This Sunday we will have a second collection for the monks of Norcia, to help them to return home and rebuild their monastery as soon as possible


Thursday 18 August 2016

Keeping the punters happy

Some more mature and wise parishioners asked if they could have a punting trip, similar to that for Young Oratory last week.

The middle-aged punting expedition was in fact incomparably less raucous, more decorous and infinitely drier than that for those yet to achieve middle age. We floated placidly to the Victoria Arms and then back again after lunch.

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Thursday 18 August 2016

People of the Gospel

This autumn we will have a series on Saturday mornings on some of the key characters of the Gospels, and how they relate to one another. On 24th September and 1st October, David Suchet's television programmes In the Footsteps of St Peter will be shown, and then, beginning on 22nd October, Fr Jerome will give a series of talks, based on his book, People of the Gospel. 

People of the Gospel

Monday 15 August 2016

Mystery Tour

Fr Jerome yesterday took a tour of Catholic Oxford, including Worcester College, pictured here. There will be another such peregrination on Sunday 28th August at 3pm.


Tuesday 9 August 2016

2nd Lieutenant Richard Walker R.I.P.


We have in our church a fine, silver monstrance, which has the following inscription: "Pray for Richard Walker  Killed in Action  9th August 1916". Today is the centenary of his death.

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This photograph is by kind courtesy of the archivist of Downside.

Richard Walker was born on 24th April 1883, the only son of Charles William Walker of Holmshurst, Burwash, Sussex. He was educated at Downside School from 1894 to 1902, and came up to Christ Church from 1902–3, where he took a B.A.

The book Downside and the War 1914-1918 records that,

"In his last year at school "Dick" Walker passed the Higher Certificate in seven subjects and won the History, English Literature and Essay Prize, and the French Prize. He played cricket in the Second Eleven, and will be remembered by his contemporaries as the best boxer of his generation at Downside. He was an ideal Captain of the Boxing Club, most energetic and successful, and through his efforts, boxing became very popular in the School. He himself won the Challenge Cup several times, and being unchallenged in 1902, the cup became his absolutely. From Downside he went to Christ Church College, Oxford, and continued to distinguish himself as a boxer at the University.

Early in the War, in spite of great difficulties in the way, he joined the Artists' Rifles, volunteered for foreign service, and went to France with his battalion in October, 1914. He ultimately became a company sergeant-major, and in 1916 obtained a commission in the Lancashire Fusiliers."

Our thanks to the Archives of Downside Abbey and School for allowing us to use this information.

Killed in action at Trônes Wood, Richard Walker's name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 3C and 3D.



This photograph is from the Imperial War Museum. © IWM (HU 126967)

May he rest in peace.