Senior clergyman visits historic Harborough church to confirm group of parishioners
Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of The Ordinariate of Lady of Walsingham, paid a special visit to St Mary’s Church in Husbands Bosworth to receive them into the life of the Catholic Church.
“A large congregation gathered following what has been a period of significant growth and new life.
“This marks an important page in a new chapter for the church whose history goes back over 500 years,” said Father Matthew Pittam, who’s based at the village church.
“Sunday’s special Mass was a real sign of hope and challenges the story of decline, which is sadly associated with many churches today.
“The new members who were received into the Church will take their place within the community.”
The churchman said that Bosworth Old Hall and St Mary’s Church are of national historical significance where the Catholic faith continued secretly during the time it was outlawed.
“At one time the penalty for a priest being found celebrating Mass was to be hung draw and quartered.
“Bosworth Old Hall had a secret chapel and priests hiding holes which enabling the faith to continue to be practiced in a clandestine way,” said Father Pittam.
“The present St Mary’s Church was built in 1873 to serve the local community following the lifting of restrictions on catholic places of worship.
“It was with great sadness that this long line of history ended two years ago when the local diocese decided to no longer celebrate Mass in the Church, forcing the doors of this Victorian gem to be closed for good.
“In July the Church at Husbands Bosworth was placed into the care of the Ordinariate, which is headed up by Monsignor Newton.
“He is based at the central church in London.
“This body was created by Pope Benedict 16th as a mission community and aims to provide a home for Anglican styles of worship and life whilst being fully Catholic.
“The Ordinariate is now present throughout the UK and has a history of rejuvenating closed or tired churches and ensuring that they remain vibrant communities and local assets,” said Father Pittam.
“Mass at St Mary’s is now celebrated every Sunday at 11am and there is a programme of midweek worship and activities.
“Our aim is to be a community where all can feel welcome, ensuring that the long history of faith in Husbands Bosworth can flourish for years to come.”