Monday, June 11, 2007

Mass at Biddlestone

On Saturday I was celebrant of a traditional Mass at Biddlestone chapel. This is an annual event organised by Jack Harvey the redoubtable `convenor` of the indult Mass at St Dominic`s, Newcastle. I think I have been the celebrant every year since it started as probably not that many clergy are sufficiently fanatical to drive for over an hour to what is a very remote spot in Northumberland on a Saturday lunchtime. The chapel is all that remains of Biddlestone Hall, the home of the recusant Selby family since the fourteenth century until its demolition in the 1950`s. The chapel itself dates from the 1820`s and as the picture shows is built on the base of a medieval pele tower. Mass was said there until the 1970`s.
In the past the chapel has been packed for this Mass but this year, despite the glorious weather, numbers were down somewhat. I forgot my camera and then found the person I`d hoped would have a camera wasn`t there so I have no photos of the Mass. After the Missa Cantata, most of the congregation stayed to have a picnic lunch. There are no facilities at Biddlestone, not even running water, but so far it has never rained and I hope that we will be there again next year. A retiring collection raised £75 for the upkeep of the chapel.
My next foray into Northumberland will be for the twelfth annual traditional Mass at Brinkburn priory in September.


Anonymous said...

'ScepticalBeliever' says: The fact that there are 'no facilities' at Biddlestone, together with sickness (and the ned for toilet facilities nearby) must certainly have kept a few people away this year (I can account for six, including my wife). Next year we hope to arrange for 'Portaloos' if the cost is not excessive. The Latin Mass Society will at least partly contribute to the cost.

Alnwickian said...

Biddlestone Hall was immortalised by Walter Scott as 'Osbaldistone Hall' in his "Rob Roy".