Fr Peter retires as College Principal

On Wednesday 3 July, College staff past and present joined CR brethren for a dinner to mark Fr Peter Allan’s retirement as Principal of the College of the Resurrection. Fr Peter came to the College as an ordinand more than 45 years ago, joined the College staff over 30 years ago – and has served as Principal since 2011. It’s an astonishing record of commitment and sustained care.

It was a delight to welcome so many of Peter’s colleagues to wish him well as he heads to the Diocese of Lichfield for a period as House-for-Duty Assistant Priest in the Severn Loop parishes – alongside pursuing theological interests.

Fr Peter’s licensing by the Bishop of Lichfield will take place on Monday 5 August at Holy Trinity, Leaton. The Community looks forward to this opportunity to strengthen links with the Diocese during Peter’s ministry.












News from Fr John

I recently returned from Walshingham having exchanged my gold star for a silver one! After 25 years as a Guardian I have now retired from office and have become a Guardian Emeritus.

I have had some interesting offers in recent times which has made me think that a future auction may not be an impossibility! Watch this space for further information, but please do get in touch if you think you have anything special that may persuade me to get out the auction hammer and start planning…







Fr John CR

Former student returns as Principal

Bishop Mark Sowerby is to be the next Principal of the College of the Resurrection in succession to Fr Peter Allan CR, who will retire at the end of the academic year. With his wife, Ruth, he will move to Mirfield from the Diocese of Chichester, where he has been Bishop of Horsham since 2009. 

Bishop Mark, who has three adult daughters, is no stranger to the north nor, indeed, to Mirfield. Born in Ripon, he trained for ordination at the College of the Resurrection, served his first curacy in Knaresborough, and after several years in the Blackburn Diocese, spent eight years at St Wilfrid’s, Harrogate. From 1997-2001, Bishop Mark served as the Church of England’s Vocations Officer and as a Selection Secretary for the Ministry Division. More recently he has chaired the national Safeguarding Training Working Group. 

Speaking of the appointment, the Chairman of the College Council, Bishop David Walker said, “I am delighted that Bishop Mark has accepted this position. He brings to us a depth of experience as a senior leader in the Church, a passion for the training and flourishing of our clergy, and the ability to respond to opportunities and challenges with both warmth and determination.”

Fr Oswin Gartside CR said, “This is very good news indeed; we are very much looking forward to welcoming Bishop Mark and Ruth to the College. Bishop Mark knows what the contemporary church needs from its clergy. He also knows the Community at Mirfield and the College very well: he will be able to provide continuity in all the right places at a time of necessary change. The College is in good heart and now, building on the firm foundation laid by Fr Peter, we are looking forward to seeing it develop and thrive under Bishop Mark’s leadership. The coming year will be a stimulating time to be an ordinand at Mirfield.”

 Bishop Mark said, “I have known the College of the Resurrection for well over 30 years and I am greatly looking forward to playing a part in the formation of outstanding men and women to serve God’s church. Ruth and I are very happy to be returning to Yorkshire and sharing in the life of College and Community.”


Library Volunteer Team

Have you wanted to volunteer but not all the time? Why not join the ‘On Call’ volunteer team.

The Librarian is looking to recruit volunteers who can be called upon as and when needed for small projects, throughout the year.  ‘On Call’ volunteers will not be required to help all year round, just when small projects arise.  Projects may take a few weeks, to a couple of months and could range from checking reading lists to helping with moving books around in the Library to amending spine labels on books, shelving  and changing barcodes on books. Previous library experience is not required.  If you are interested in putting your name forward for the ‘On Call’ volunteer team, email Anisha Christison:


Book Amnesty
If you have used the Community and College Library in the past and have borrowed items, there is now an easy way to return all items during our Book Amnesty Month in April in person or by post. There will be no repercussions for overdue books!

Face the different

Sometimes it is worth to step out of the familiar and face the foreign. There is a lot to learn. About God, about the world, about ourselves. Here in England I just can’t stop feeling that everything is so different.

At home, in Hungary I am Pastor Novotny Dániel, a respected Lutheran priest for 20 years. Here I am Daniel Novotny, a funny little and round guest in the College. At home I preach to more than a thousand people on almost a daily basis as school chaplain of a large Lutheran grammar school. Here I just stumble with English and keep silent for days. At home I give lecture on dogmatics and philosophy of religion. Here I am just a humble student sitting in the classroom, who realizes that knows nothing. At home my house is loud by my four children gathering around their father. Here the only touch is the peace handshake in the Eucharist liturgy. At home I am piled with heavy duties above my strength. Here I got the chance to step out time and space to meet God and face myself in a really radical way.

I came here with a strict plan to finish the writing of my first book, which also should be my PhD dissertation. Instead I found myself in an intense spiritual training about humbleness, self-discipline and mostly about the measurement of the essence of my personal faith. My faith got tested, perhaps like the other Daniel of the Old Testament.

There is a lot I have learnt here. I am so grateful for this to Christ, who came to me through the brothers of the Community, the College teachers and students, the sacramental moments in the Upper and in the Lower Church, through the mystical garden and the blooming spring. Thanks for all.

Dániel Novotny

Walsingham Pilgrimage 2019

Recently a party of 9 students, accompanied by Fr Thomas CR made a weekend pilgrimage to Walsingham. Taking all the prayer requests from the board in the College Oratory to include whilst on pilgrimage, we put them alongside our own supplications at the shrine.

With the other pilgrims we entered fully into the life of the Shrine and attended the Pilgrimage Mass, Shrine Prayers, Liturgy of Healing and Reconciliation with laying on of hands, Sprinkling and Benediction.

It was ‘low season’ at the Shrine so we students had the whole of one of the guest blocks to ourselves. We used the spacious and comfortable upstairs living room as our Pilgrimage Common Room where we listened to the two excellent addresses given by Fr Thomas (about two anti-types of Mary, Rebekah and Hannah), and also to relax in at the end of the day.

Many thanks to Fr Thomas for his prayerful leadership of our pilgrimage, to Frs Kevin and Andreas and all the team at the Shrine for making us all so welcome, and of course to our pilgrimage officers, Ben and Max, for organising our weekend of prayer, reflection, fellowship and fun so impeccably.

Mitzi James CoR


To read the article in full please click here to visit the College website 



Upcoming Book Launch

Il giardiniere invisibile: credere, non credere, cercare, EDB, 2019. (The Invisible Gardener: Belief and Unbelief in Dialogue ).

The Revd Dr Tony Carroll has published a new book which will be launched at Mirfield in June. The book attempts to think anew about the God-World relationship in the context of our Secular Age. It builds on the parable of the ‘invisible gardener’, originally devised by the Cambridge philosopher John Wisdom in 1944, to think about how religious and non-religious people can enter into dialogue about God today.

The book will be launched at the day conference on Ancient and Modern Insights into Human Flourishing on 3 June.












Tallis Consort Concert

On Saturday 30 March the Community opened its doors for an evening of music provided by one of the finest vocal ensembles in Yorkshire. The Tallis Consort is a semi-professional ensemble of 10 singers who specialize in the performance of Renaissance Polyphony. Directed by Chris Why they performed Tomás Luis de Victoria – Tenebrae Responsories (1585) and the Requiem Mass (1603). Many joined us for what proved to be a highly enjoyable, relaxing evening. We would like to thank Chris and the ensemble, we hope an opportunity arises in the future for them to perform in the church again.

Funeral of Fr Simon CR







A packed church gathered last Friday (1 March) to celebrate the life and ministry of our dear brother Simon.

Fr Simon passed away on Thursday 7 February, at the age of 88 and in the 52nd year of his profession.

His funeral requiem was followed by burial in the Community cemetery.

We were delighted that so many family and friends were able to join the Community for the occasion. May Simon rest in peace and rise in glory.








#Life Together Oxford: February 10 -14 2019

The arrival in Oxford on Sunday evening for the start of #LifeTogetherOxford saw us all warmly welcomed to our host colleges. Myself and George CR; Judith and Margaret Theresa SLG and Jane ASSP. I was in The Queen’s College – fittingly so for me with its Northern links and long choral tradition. I certainly was impressed by the environment, and remarked when preaching at evensong that night how extraordinary it felt to be there and speak the Word amidst such apparent history and tradition. The aim of the week was to promote the notion of vocation – and specifically of that to the religious life.

We were there chiefly to pray, and so kept a monastic-style office each morning in St Mary’s (the University) Church. This regularity meant that we saw and shared daily with many of the same faces. There were upwards of twenty people there for Morning Prayer each day, which was pleasing, and we had the opportunity to eat breakfast together in the café afterwards. Here there was ample time to initiate conversations and get to know one another. And this set the tone for the daily pattern with us, because subsequently there were talks and meet-a-monk/nun slots to which people we had encountered previously came. So, crucially to good missionary work, there was sound opportunity for follow-up! The days were long but very pleasing on this account.

It was certainly a privilege for my part to experience the life of a university once again – and especially the life of Oxford colleges. The brothers and sisters agreed that the Oxbridge system is ideal to undertake vocation events within, because it allows for the building of relationships and gives individuals in the group continuity with the people they meet. It is possible to make links with chaplaincy teams and clergy which last beyond the designated ‘mission week.’ Indeed, we are already looking to return to the university and are exploring possibilities of a similar event in Cambridge. Watch this space! I was really glad to make the acquaintance of Katherine Price, chaplain of Queen’s College and ex-Mirfieldonian! Great exchange was undoubtedly made! I also hope to go back to Hertford College to preach.

Whilst I couldn’t dine at high table every night nor perhaps keep up with the seemingly insane examination pressure these students are placed under, it was a joyous experience to offer something of my unfolding vocation with men and women likewise discerning theirs in Oxford. Pray that it may yield a harvest to His glory: thirty, sixty – even a hundredfold!



Br Marc CR

Volunteering opportunities in the Community’s Gardens

The grounds and gardens at Mirfield are an important part of the character of our site. A special place for the brethren, they are also well used by guests, retreatants, school groups, visitors and many others who value spending time outside while they are with us.

Extending to around 20 acres, the gardens require just as much care and attention as our buildings. Over the years, we have welcomed many volunteers to help in the grounds – some to gain experience, some during retirement and some who simply enjoy gardening! As we move through spring and summer, we are keen to build the number of volunteers, who will work alongside Paul Hatfield and the Estates Management team.

If you would like to volunteer to help (or if you know of others who might be interested) – and to have the opportunity to meet new people in a quiet and peaceful environment – please contact Paul Hatfield on 01924 483347 or email

News from the College – Visit to London

On Saturday 23 February a group of Ordinands from the College of the Resurrection, led by Dr Dorothea Bertschmann, visited London for the day. The group had two wonderful tours of the British Museum looking at Mesopotamia including the special exhibition on Ashurbanipal, a King who ruled the Assyrian Empire in what is now modern-day Mosul from 668 BC to 627 BC. Following this the group attended Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral, as part of which New Testament scholar Paula Gooder preached a wonderful sermon as she was installed as the Cathedral’s first lay Canon Chancellor. Special thanks go to the Tim Burke Memorial Trust whose support made the day possible, it was hugely appreciated by all who attended!



Book Launch at CR: Sunday 17 February 2019

It was a great delight to welcome back Professor Clifford Jones to the Community on Sunday 17 February for the official launch of his latest publication, Numerical Examples in Fuels and Energy. Clifford was adjunct professor of engineering at Federation University, Australia and had been Reader at Aberdeen University prior to that, specializing in combustion. He was a student of the Hostel of the Resurrection in the early 1970s when our late brother Roy CR was bursar there. The book is dedicated to Roy’s memory.

It was good to welcome Clifford’s colleagues, friends of the Community and Br Roy CR’s family to this occasion, during which Clifford spoke movingly of his association with the Community, as well as giving examples from previous publications and excerpts from the current book to inform us of his life and work. We thank Clifford warmly for his dedication to Roy and are pleased by the number who came to support the event. Numerical Examples in Fuels and Energy is available to download as an e-book via






Br Marc CR

Farewell to Jacob

Yesterday we bid a very fond farewell to our brother Jacob, whose period in temporary vows came to an end last week. Jacob has been in first profession with the Community of the Resurrection since 2013, and decided in January’s Chapter meeting that he would not seek to take life vows.

During his time at Mirfield, Jacob has been an active brother of the Community notable for his strong love for God and for prayer. He has developed the work of the Mirfield Centre, not least with schools, has played a major part in refurbishing the Retreat House and pioneering the popular pilgrimage weekends to Mirfield, and has helped bring CR into the 21st century in IT and telecommunications, and in taking a lead in the installation of a booking system.

Jacob leaves Mirfield with love and prayers from his brethren and we look forward to keeping in touch as he discerns the next step in his journey of vocation.