Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Put Much Birch in your Latin Mass satnav

A good priest of the Benedictine order, has contacted me with a reminder that, in the Archdiocese of Cardiff aka 'Stackshire,' the old rite Latin Mass is regularly celebrated at the convent of the Poor Clares at Much Birch.

Confusingly, for me at least, the PCs address speaks of 'Monastery' rather than 'Convent', doubtless some erudite good souls will comment to enlighten me.

But, if you find yourself in the beautiful county of Herefordshire, and it happens to be a Sunday, please attend Holy Mass at the following address where Fr Antony Tumelty OSB is the celebrant.

Here is the address:

The Poor Clare Monastery
Much Birch

Mass times are: 6.30pm every Sunday

An ability to smile permanently is another requirement of the order
The Poor Clares is a favourite order of mine, I well remember them when they used to come begging for alms, door to door when I was a child.

And, many years later, when I worked in Cheltenham, they did the rounds of the offices, pleading for money.
It must be a most unpleasant and humbling task, to beg for your daily crust; but the PCs managed to undertake it with smiles and prayers for benefactors.

Nowadays, it probably not PC to be a PC, disturbing people's consciences with a begging bowl.

The entry requirements for this Franciscan order are remarkably simple.

Firstly, you must be able to prove at least two martyrs in your Catholic aristocratic family history and, secondly, you must be under four feet six inches in height.


And also, for those unfamiliar with the Welsh English border country, the Archdiocese of Cardiff (in Wales) extends over the Dyke (please, what minds you have) into England's green and pleasant land.

The plundering Welshmen have, for centuries raided the fields of good and humble English folk (?) giving rise to the Song of the Border Raiders which I quote from memory:
"O the valleys sheep are sweet
but the border sheep are fatter;
We therefore deem it meet
to carry off the latter".

Picture: The Poor Clares


  1. Bring back the Latin Mass: fine.
    But the birch????

  2. Patricius...I'm not quibbling! A public birching in Eccleston Square would go down a storm.

  3. What are the requirements for entry into the Order?
    Do you jest?

  4. Anon, I jest; my warped sense of humour I'm afraid. I guess entry requirements would be:-
    1. Must be female
    2. Must be Catholic
    and also....must be named 'Clare' :}

  5. Thank Heaven for the sense of humor. This post was all
    straight forward and a sudden "gotcha". I just said to
    myself, duh? I thought well these odds are greater than
    the lottery. Very good.