Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Why is there no Mass at this Church?

Actually, my title is not quite true, Mass is celebrated at the Church of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs at Chideock in Dorset, but only on alternate Saturday nights. Why is this? Is it a lack of a congregation? I think not, at least, my information states otherwise.
This is one of the most glorious churches in Great Britain, a very solid piece of our Catholic past. There are murals on parts of the walls dating back from Recusant times and there are  artefacts of the Dorset Martyrs (portable altars and furniture), casually placed around the upper chamber as if the Saints themselves were about to put in an appearance.
It should be a place of pilgrimage, a well known and well publicised part of the Diocesan armoury, used on every possible occasion. Instead, it is a museum full of baroque bling.
Of course, if the LMS were to step in and offer to run the Church as a centre for the EF Mass (which is what the sacred place demands), there would no doubt, be uproar from Bishop's House. But this might be a better proposition than taking over Ushaw as has been rumoured. Chideock makes a perfect base for seminarians (they would need to rent or buy a house nearby but the costs would be slight compared with the upkeep of Ushaw). And Dorset is much closer to the major connurbations from which, I guess, the bulk of the seminarians will come from.
Out of the eight martyrs, three held the names of Salmon, Pike and Pilchard. This must count for something dammit!

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