Today I celebrate Sunday Mass in St Hubert’s, Dunsop Bridge, and afterwards shall meet with parishioners to begin the process of shaping our three very different Catholic communities into a cohesive Missionary Parish – as Pope Francis has asked us to become. Thankfully we have behind us the successful amalgamation of St Michael and St John’s Clitheroe with St Mary’s Sabden, in the process of which both communities generously shared, learned and benefited from each other.
Today I have only three aims. The first is to organise a general meeting of St Hubert’s community at which a couple of representatives from Clitheroe and Sabden will be invited to share the stories of their journey to amalgamation and respond to any anxieties which may exist within the Dunsop Bridge community. The second is to arrange for a midweek morning Mass in St Hubert’s (not on Sabden’s Wednesday)! The third is to organise a meeting with a member from the parish finance committee, Mgr Chaloner and a Dunsop representative to discuss finance.
On a different topic, in the 1800’s a Pedlar’s Trunk was discovered at Samlesbury Hall where it had lain hidden in a priest hole for 200 years. The Trunk contained all that was necessary for the celebration of Mass (but disguised as a pedlar’s wares) and is thought to have been used by our martyrs St Edmund Arrowsmith and/or St John Southworth. In 1892 the Trunk was sold at general auction to a local Catholic man who recognised its religious significance. Subsequently it was handed over to the care to Stonyhurst College. The College has loaned it as part of an exhibition at Samlesbury Hall over the coming year. If you would like to visit the exhibition, the Hall is open for visitors Sunday to Friday 11am – 4pm but closed on Saturdays and occasional Fridays. (To check opening times contact 01254 812010). This is a golden opportunity to introduce your children to Lancashire’s Catholic heritage and have a day out.
Finally we celebrate the beginnings of our parish next Sunday on Weld Day, beginning with Sunday Mass at 10.30am in the garden, followed by a parish picnic. A complementary glass of wine, strawberries and ice-cream are provided by kind sponsors – you bring along the family, a picnic and some sunshine.