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.