Visit to the University of York Library

On 20 June, I was joined by Fr Thomas, and Brothers Marc and Steven on a visit to the University of York Library and the Borthwick Institute for Archives. The University Library received 3,000 or so books from the Community of the Resurrection in 1973, primarily to care for the unique collection, which has been on loan to the since then. The books, most of which were printed before 1800 and many in Europe, are mainly theological, but there are other subjects within the collection too. Amongst them is material from the Wilberforce family, including the abolitionist William.

Treasures in the collection include an edition of St Augustine’s De civitate Dei, printed by Nicolas Jenson in Venice (1475) and a copy of William Tyndale’s The newe Testament of our savyoure Jesu Christe, newly and dylygently translated into Englyshe wyth annotacions in the mergent to help the reader to the understandynge of the texte (1536).

Some of the archives from the Community are held at the Borthwick Institute of Archives, covering administration of the Community and College, activities in South Africa, personal papers and diaries of brethren, photographs and so much more – even letters from royalty!

Both collections are kept in purpose-built high security, temperature controlled stores; these were very impressive and everything was ordered and well cared for. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, and were greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm of Sarah Griffin (Special Collections Librarian) and Gary Brannan (Access Archivist) who have responsibility for looking after – and helping people to use – our collection and others.

The Mirfield Collection can be found on the University Library’s online catalogue, and for more information on archives held at the Borthwick click here

[Missale: begins Annus habet. xii. meses.] Roman Catholic Church. Liturgy and Ritual. Missals ; Greberus, Joannes Nurmberge, impressum per Georgium Stuchs de Sultzbach 1484


                           Anisha Christison Academic Librarian



Greek for Fun retreat – June 2018

When I was being formed for ordination at Mirfield more years ago than seems possible, my absolute favourite class was Greek for Fun with Fr Nicolas (sorry to the others – your classes were great too!). Why was Greek for Fun my favourite? Because it was like uncovering the NT texts for the first time, hearing and seeing new and sometimes surprising insights, and we often had Christ-centred deep, challenging and prayerful discussions that have stayed with me for many years.

So how was Greek for Fun as a retreat? In short, deeply refreshing. On a personal level it was a great luxury to spend time just doing some translating (badly, but Fr Nicolas was very kind!) and actually being able to work as a group while at the same time being part of the rhythm of prayer, space, silence, company and eating together. I was a bit worried about coming as I had forgotten most of the basic Greek I did know, but that didn’t matter as whatever level we were at, everyone was able to join in as we looked at the Greek and pondered together what the text might be trying to communicate. As someone who preaches every week it was good to hear other insights and, by looking at the Greek, to understand on a deeper level what our English translations are trying to convey with different levels of success! (Note to self: chuck out Good News version and find RSV).

I learnt a lot this week on many levels, not just Greek, and we even made sense of one passage together which has always completely puzzled me (can’t wait ‘til this one comes up for preaching now!). I have come away with a renewed appetite for Biblical study and feel that we did find Jesus among us this week. When’s the next one?

Revd Fiona Harrison-Smith
Vicar Weoley Castle, St Gabriel

What’s On Guide 2018/19


The CR ‘What’s On’ leaflet for 2018 -19 has arrived and is being dispatched around the country and beyond. The leaflet covers our pastoral programme (retreats and pilgrimages), prayer and study days, and other activities and events at Mirfield. This year sees the return of a retreat for 18-30 year olds, a week in November on Making and Hearing Confession, the ever-popular Railway Retreat and much more besides.

We will be distributing copies far and wide (as well as closer to home); if you would like a copy, please do let us know – and if you would like several copies (for your parish, friends & family, etc), we would be pleased to send them out.


Auction 2018

Many thanks to everyone who was involved in, attended, contributed towards or bid at the auction. I think in terms of fun and joy that was one of the best weekends of my life. Everyone seemed so happy, there was a great team of helpers and everyone went away satisfied.

The result of Auction was superb. When all is in we will have raised about £25,000, which is good going for a fifth auction! Many people will be relieved to know that we did not sell the Luca Giordano painting although the bidding came very close to the reserve. I feel vindicated in that it has proved to be a more significant piece of art than was previously believed, and I hope now to enjoy it for the rest of my days.


John CR

CR Festival Day 2018

Saturday 7 July saw hundreds of the Community’s friends come from near and far to celebrate CR Festival Day. Companions, parish groups, Oblates and many others joined us, sharing in worship and marking the launch of our year of Monasticism and Vocation: Christ Our Call.

The Mass at midday included a welcome to new Companions as well as the consecration, by Bishop Tony Robinson, of the new High Altar in the Community church. Installed in the weeks leading up to Festival Day, the Mandale fossil stone comes from the Once-A-Week Quarry on the Chatsworth estate, high in the Peak District of Derbyshire. It teems with fossils more than 350 million years old, some of the earliest living beings on our planet. There are crinoids (tubular fossils with an internal screw-thread), brachiopods (like mussels and oysters) and corals, and there are one or two sharks’ teeth, recognizable as small dark triangles.

The altar is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and speaks of the depths of the ages, and of the cosmos. On the top, dark red lines surround the cross we put there during the Eucharist: “See where Christ’s blood streams in the firmament” (Marlowe’s Dr Faustus). As we look from a distance, the front of the altar seems to show millions of stars, as in the Milky Way, swirling around an empty space. This evocative centre to our worship – the final major commission as part of our project to reorder the church – was supported by the generosity of many of our friends, and through a major gift from an anonymous donor.

CR Festival Day 2019 will be on Saturday 6 July – please put the date in your diary, and encourage others to come too!

Ordinations 2018

Once again we invite your prayers for all those about to be ordained, and particularly for the 22 students of the College: 13 to be ordained to the Diaconate, and 9 to be ordained Priest. In an increasingly uncertain world, it is a huge encouragement for us all that the College is able to send out men and women of faith, ready and willing to serve in dioceses across the Church of England – from Newcastle to Chichester, Carlisle to Durham, Chelmsford to Gloucester. And no sooner do we send them on their way, than we prepare to welcome another new group of students – though with very little idea just who and how many they may be! We have interviewed nearly 40 for next year but many of them have very late Bishops’ Advisory Panels, so we shan’t know until at least mid-August who is coming.

Peter CR


On Whit-Friday I joined the Vicar of Mossley and friends for a little walk (hike) around his parish. It was a wonderful event, and the people of St George’s Mossley are always very welcoming to visitors. The day began with the daily celebration of the Eucharist together in the Parish Church.

It was a wonderful jamboree of mill-town life. My friends dressed up like Christmas trees for the occasion, as is their prerogative. The roads were closed, the traffic came to a halt, the people of the parish stood in the streets defiant of the weather, and the Church Militant trudged by. Mthr Penny and I were escorted around by the churchwardens with a large Brass Band alarmingly close behind. The logistics for such an event are not easy to organise, so thank you to everyone who made it possible for us to be there.

A local preacher started the parade by announcing that people could talk to him about Jesus. I don’t know if people talked to him, but Fr David, Mthr Penny, Buddy the Dog and I had good conversations with people throughout the day – the sort of conversation where you feel privileged by the encounters.

We celebrated the Eucharist together, joined in with the celebration, welcomed the opportunities for conversation and made time for people to tell their stories. So there you go: On Whit-Friday I joined Fr David and friends and we did the work of the Gospel. And don’t tell anyone, but I enjoyed every minute!

Jacob CR

Santa Maria de Montserrat

During last week (29 – 31 May) Nicolas and I made a quick journey to Spain, to Catalonia for a meeting to organise the next CIIR (International Interconfessional Conference of Religious) which will take place in June next year. The organising meeting was uneventful and with Nicolas chairing we didn’t hang around! This is very good, especially because we were meeting at Santa Maria de Montserrat, the Benedictine monastery in the Catalan Hills. Set high up on the mountain edge there has been a place of worship at Montserrat since the C11, and the current Abbey has seen major restoration work in the C19 & C20, and alterations made to the buildings to care for the crowds of people.

Just over two million people each year make a journey up the mountain to visit Our Lady of Montserrat. Even though it is crowded during the day, there is a wonderful atmosphere on the mountain edge. It is one of those places where the economy of life seems more balanced: our primary vocation of praise, glory, worship and dedication to God is there at the centre of mountain life. Whether your heart is uplifted by the sound of the L’Escolania, the famous Boys’ Choir of Montserrat, or you are reduced to silence by the awe-inspiring views, I cannot see how people could leave that place without, in the smallest of ways, brushing up against the living God.

People come from all over the world to pray at the shrine of Our Lady, but there is no easy way up the mountain: you can walk, drive, cable-car or funicular your way up the hillside. Many lamps burn around the little Basilica, one even for FC Barcelona, who I’m told are better than our own Huddersfield Town, though I can’t imagine that is possible. High up, at the east end of the Basilica, Blessed Mary is seated with the Christ child, reassuring us of God’s maternal care, turning our hearts and lives towards the mystery of love found in Her beloved Son. All the time the Abbey is open pilgrims and sight-seers make their way through the painted corridors of the Basilica to touch and venerate the kindly image that opens our hearts and imaginations to the story of Salvation.

We were made very welcome by the Abbot and the Community, and were able to join them in Quire, and for the Offices (when the Basilica is closed). Visitors join the 50 or so monks for worship (if you are staying in the Hotel, you can even watch a live-stream from the Basilica on the TV in your room!) and, unlike Mirfield, there is little interaction with the Community; the Monastery and the School each live very separate lives. During this visit we met with the Abbess and Sisters of the monastery of Sant Benet de Montserrat, a Community of enclosed Sisters who also live on the mountain, but away from the hustle and bustle of the shrine. The Sisters made us very welcome and we were treated to a tour of their pottery workshop. It was wonderful to meet with my Religious Sisters and Brothers from CIIR in such a holy place, and I am very grateful to have been asked to make the journey.

Jacob CR

Family Fun Day!

The Community opens its doors for its annual Family Fun Day on Sunday 1 July, from 1pm till 5pm. Families are welcomed in to the grounds for a day of fun, family friendly activities, entertainment and refreshments. Supported by a volunteer army of brethren, staff, CR companions and others, the day is being organised by Tony Devine, CR’s Head Gardener.

Attractions will include a selection of games, face painting, a tombola, bouncy castle and, of course, welly wanging. All are welcome to explore the grounds or take a tour of the Church.

We are still looking for donations for our tombola stall, if you have any unwanted gifts etc and would like to donate please contact Tony on 01924 494318.

One month Professed….

April is now over, and I have been a brother of the Resurrection for seven weeks. We had a really wonderful Eucharist on March 12th to mark this, which incorporated the profession rite. Thank you to those of you who came and also those who prayed in absentia. Please may you continue to do so? In some respects, this article comes as belated news to our friends and supporters, but nevertheless, I felt it was important to let you know how it’s all going.

The short answer is ‘well.’ Day-to-day life is really no different to the experience of the novitiate in terms of getting stuck in and embracing the offers and challenges of the tasks that come one’s way. There is newness insofar as an increasing sense and level of responsibility goes. I am being asked (and reasonably expected) to assume more and to be challenged further. This is good; in some ways it resembles a career-type progression which is wholly appropriate to my age and stage of life. I am appreciating the chance to investigate my own habits of learning and study within the life a little more, as this is quite closely directed in the novitiate period.

Fr Nicolas has agreed to act as my ‘warden’ during the period of simple vows, and I know I will be able to rely on his frankness and clarity of guidance as we all continue to discern the way forward with God who goes before us.

Another aspect of profession that one notices a little more is the sense of being ‘one of the family’ just that bit more. There is a greater sense that one has been ‘gotten used to’ now. Any previous desire or perception of the need to prove oneself is unnecessary, and there is a deeper freeing up to enter further into the life which calls us. This life is God in Christ.

I continue to enjoy and welcome the engagement with Christian life that CR brings, and pray that my vocation will continue to be lived through being here for the years to come. I know that it is a gift of a position, in which ‘hands are freed to welcome others into the radiant splendour of God’s love.’ So I carry on being thankful that my own hands feel so freed, that they might lead others to His love’s freedom. I carry on being thankful, with all my brothers, for your generous prayers and support.

Marc CR

Auction latest

We are still receiving donations for the upcoming auction, which is being held on the 23rd June at the Community of the Resurrection. Some of these donations are very interesting and attractive, and some are quite unusual!

Pictured left are some WWI shells which have been turned into vases.

Pictured right (bottom) is a silver thurible, and (top) right is a cloak clasp.

If you wish to donate or enquire contact Fr John Gribben CR






News from CoR

We are very sad to be saying goodbye to the Revd Dr Rowena Pailing after Easter. Rowena joined the staff of the College in 2012 as Dean of Pastoral Studies. This is a complex task that requires some of the skills of a magician, fluent multi-tasking, thick skin, the patience of Job, and the grace of all the saints put together. Rowena has triumphed in every part of the role and leaves behind a web of friends and supporters. There is seemingly no limit to her skills: early in her College career she heralded the arrival of the mighty haggis at our Burns night celebration with some powerful  (and tuneful) squeezing of the bagpipes… We shall greatly miss Rowena, her husband Crispin, and Ambrose and Jerome and very much hope that they will all keep in touch with us.

Peter CR




New faces at Mirfield

Those of you who visit or contact Mirfield on a regular basis may have noticed a few new names and faces on site since the start of the year.

We welcomed Mike Street into our Guest Hospitality Team at the beginning of January – although he has settled in so well that it probably appears to many as though he has been here much longer!  Working alongside our Guest Warden, Revd Barbara Clarke, and Beth Harper in the ‘Mirfield Centre’ team, Mike brings with him a wealth of experience in customer and support services, developed during his career at Oldham, Burnley, York, Tameside, Kirklees and Calderdale Councils.  Mike will administer Retreat House bookings for individual guest stays and programmed retreats, and support Beth in her administration of Day Events.

Anisha Christison began working for the Community and College in mid-February as Academic Librarian, giving her support and assistance to the Brethren, students and Guests using the site’s two main libraries.  Anisha, a Chartered Librarian, joins us from the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield where she managed the Museum Library Service for 11 years.

Anisha writes….

I’m from Yorkshire, but have married a Scot – Andrew! We have two boys, Roshan (13) and Nihar (9).  I love to cook, bake and collect recipes, and I have just started to learn how to knit. I’ve been a Librarian for many years working in lots of different libraries along the way. I look forward to working on the libraries here, very much.

Holy Week CoR

Celebrating Holy Week together has been one of the most important features of my time at the College of the Resurrection. Many of the Brethren spend the week in parishes, so from the First Evensong of Palm Sunday the seating in Upper Church is rearranged, and the College shares the obligation of the Community to pray the Offices and Masses of Holy Week.

More than thirty guests also joined us this year for Holy Week (or just the Triduum), and the College’s Refectory during meals became as full as the Church. The rhythm and routine of CR that we particularly adopt for the week allows time for building friendships, but also leaves space for silence and reflection. The Revd Prof John Rodwell gave some challenging addresses on the nature of our connection with the whole of creation, and Fr Ben Gordon-Taylor again delivered his excellent series of lectures on the development of Holy Week liturgy.

Once the Mass had been celebrated on Maundy Thursday we remained in silence until the Easter Vigil. The Offices during this time become shockingly sparse, much is spoken rather than sung, and it is as if all creation is left in silence by the events of Good Friday. The triumphant fanfare of organ, bells, and singing at the Easter Vigil proclaims in no uncertain terms the joy of Christ’s Resurrection.

Guests are always welcome at Mirfield for Holy Week, why not be among them next year?

Sebastian Hamilton CoR

College welcomes exchange student

On January 22nd I arrived in Mirfield after a long journey from Berkeley, California, where I am in my second year of training for ordination in the Episcopal Church. A new exchange program between my seminary, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and the College of the Resurrection was created this past fall, and I was eager to embark on an adventure as the first person to make the trip. In these first two months I have cherished the opportunity to participate in the common life of the College, to worship alongside members of the Community, and to engage in parish placements here in Mirfield. After some years in California, witnessing a proper snowfall or two has also been a treat! The College and the Community are such treasures; the commitment to God and to one another is palpable in so many ways, and I pray that more of my classmates in the U.S. will have the chance to take part in the richness of life here. When I return to Berkeley in June I will have countless beautiful memories, some dear new friends and colleagues, and a lifelong connection to this peaceful, vibrant, and holy place. I believe that Christ calls each of us out into the world to leave behind the familiar and thus to grow deeper in relationship with Him; for me, Mirfield has been the place to do just that.

Phil Hooper