Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Ushaw College buildings and grounds open to public from Saturday (From The Northern Echo)

April 22, 2015 Leave a comment

A FORMER training college for priests for the Roman Catholic church is openings its doors to the public over coming months.

Ushaw College, a Roman Catholic seminary from inception in 1808 until the last trainees were consecrated in 2011, is considered a hidden gem, set in a large expanse countryside four miles west of Durham.

It has been linked with Durham University from 1968 and, since the last trainee priests left, its residential block has been used as overflow accommodation by both the university’s business school and more recently by Josephine Butler College.

Surrounded by 400-acres of picturesque grounds, between the villages of Ushaw Moor, Bearpark and Langley Park, the site includes Grade I and Grade II-listed buildings, including St Margaret’s Chapel and St Cuthbert’s Chapel, as well as an ornate exhibition hall and refectory.

All were built by English architect Augustus Pugin in the classic Gothic Renaissance style.

The charitable trust now running the former seminary was awarded a £3,000 grant towards the enhancement of its herbaceous borders in the formal gardens in front of the college.

Work also began restoring the 19th Century gardens last autumn with initially a 20-strong band of volunteers, swelled on occasions after a call for extra helping hands.

Roger Kelly, chair of the college’s concert and events group, which promotes use of the grounds and buildings, said it was the beginning of a bid to restore the site to its former glory.

“Already, since last September, a transformation has taken place.

“The overgrown borders have been weeded, saplings and briars cleared away, and the gift of 3,000 tulips has resulted in the central borders becoming a blaze of spring colour.”

Both the buildings and gardens are open to the public on Saturdays, from 12-noon to 5pm, with a gift shop and cafe running during those hours.

It includes entry to the chapels, refectory and exhibition hall, with admission free.

Over the next four weeks visitors will also have the chance to view the medieval chasuble, a vestment worn by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, during the recent funeral ceremonies for King Richard III in Leicester.

Tickets are available for a concert featuring the Durham-founded singing ensemble Renaissance in St Cuthbert’s College, at Ushaw, on Saturday, at 7.30pm.

They are available for £10 each from the box office at Durham’s Gala Theatre, but can also be bought on the door on the night.

via College buildings and grounds open to public from Saturday (From The Northern Echo).

Advertisements » Cardinal to wear vestment ‘from wardrobe of King Richard III’

March 20, 2015 Leave a comment

Cardinal Nichols will wear the vestment at a Mass for the repose of the king’s soul

Cardinal Vincent Nichols will wear an ancient vestment believed to be from the royal wardrobe of King Richard III when he celebrates Mass for the repose of the soul of the monarch’s soul in Leicester on Monday.

Known as the Westminster Vestment, the chasuble is part of the heritage collection of Ushaw College, the former Catholic seminary at Ushaw Moor, Durham.

There is a tradition that it was worn by the Benedictine monks of Westminster Abbey during the reign of King Richard, who died at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.

Scholars have expressed the view that its embroidery is the same described by the inventories of his royal wardrobe and that it dates from the third quarter of the 15th century.

The king, whose remains were found underneath a car park in 2012, will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral on Thursday. Three days earlier Cardinal Nichols will celebrate a Mass for the repose of his soul at Leicester’s Holy Cross church. He will also preach at a service of compline in Leicester’s Anglican cathedral on Sunday, the day the king’s remains are received there.

Mgr John Marsland, president of Ushaw College, said: “The trustees of Ushaw are delighted that the Westminster Chasuble will be worn by Cardinal Nichols at the Requiem Mass on Monday March 23.

“We are very pleased to contribute to the celebrations surrounding the reburial of Richard III culminating in the service on Thursday March 26 in Leicester Cathedral.

“The Westminster chasuble is one of the oldest vestments at Ushaw. We respect the tradition conveyed to us through the Walton family – who gave the vestment to Ushaw in 1867 – that it had been in use at Westminster Abbey prior to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. This links us to our Catholic past, before the opening of Ushaw in 1808, and before the foundation of Douai in 1568.”

He added: “The Westminster vestment together with many other artefacts we hold contributes to the richness of our heritage at Ushaw. At present, we are opening our doors to events and visits at Ushaw so that our rich heritage can be made available to the broader community.”

The Westminster Vestment is an example of Opus Anglicanum (English work), the rich, complex and beautiful works of ecclesiastical embroidery for which England was famous during the Middle Ages.

It has been made from velvet cloths of tissue linked together with silver-gilt brocading thread, with the figures cut from coloured silks and attached to a golden background.

The chasuble depicts the Crucified Christ with the Roman soldier Longinus expressing his belief that Jesus is the “Son of God”. It features depictions of St Nicholas, St Catherine and St Pancras, the teenage Roman martyr whose relics were brought to England by St Augustine of Canterbury.

via » Cardinal to wear vestment ‘from wardrobe of King Richard III’.

Ushaw College open this Sunday 2-4pm, 9th November

November 7, 2014 Leave a comment

Ushaw College will be open this Sunday 2-4pm, come and see our beautiful Lady Chapel- designed by Augustus Pugin

9th Nov 4pm Evening Prayer at Ushaw for Remembrance Sunday with the Westlands Choir.

Building & Cafe open for viewing from 2pm- 4pm

Booking IS NOT neccessary, just turn up.

Ushaw College – ‘Hidden gem’ to become visitor attraction From The Northern Echo

September 2, 2014 Leave a comment



A CENTURIES old former Catholic seminary largely hidden from the public for decades is set to become the region’s newest visitor attraction.

Ushaw College was founded near Ushaw Moor, County Durham, as a college for training would-be priests by Catholics fleeing revolutionary France in 1808.

It boasts stunning architecture including the 1870s-built St Cuthbert’s Chapel and a 500-acre estate, including walled gardens.

The 75,000-book library includes works from the Middle Ages, the archive of the English College at Lisbon from 1628 to 1971 and an extensive collection of works on and by Cardinal John Newman, a 19th century priest who beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

At its peak in the 1950s, there were 300 adult students and 150 children and its alumni include cardinals and bishops.

However, it closed in summer 2011 amid falling rolls and rising maintenance costs.

Talks are ongoing which could see part of the campus become a new Durham University college.

But although some small group tours have been undertaken in recent years, its treasures have mostly been kept away from public view.

Now Ushaw bosses want to open up much of the campus to visitors for concerts, exhibitions, open days, lectures and other events.

A year-long programme will be launched during the Heritage Open Days weekend, of September 13 to 14.

But the plans are dependent on finding enough volunteers.

Help is needed greeting visitors, leading tours, serving refreshments, stewarding venues, restoring the gardens and more.

Monsignor John Marsland, president of Ushaw College, said: “This is an extraordinary opportunity for people of all ages to come along and make a real difference, by helping to open up to the public one of the most important and largely unknown architectural and cultural gems in the region.

“We hope it will be a rewarding and life-enhancing experience for all.

“Please come along whatever your skills and join this wonderful project.”

Anyone interested is invited to join a college tour on Saturday, September 13, at 11am or attend an opening evening on Wednesday, September 17, from 4pm to 7pm. To register, email: or call 07421-035-240.

‘Hidden gem’ to become visitor attraction From The Northern Echo.

Church stages week of fun events From The Northern Echo

A CHURCH will stage a week of activities in two Durham communities later this month (June 17-22).

Emmanuel Church Durham is putting on a number of events for children and adults across Gilesgate and Ushaw Moor between June 17 and 22, under the title God Loves.

Volunteers from the church will be offering practical help, including with gardening and running family friendly events.

In Gilesgate on Thursday, June 19, there will be a double decker bus filled with children’s activities parked near Cunningham Place from 3.30pm to 5pm.

Afterwards, Durham Youth For Christ will stage its third Urban Durham event from 5pm to 7pm, featuring a football cage, DJ sets and other sports, games and craft activities, again based around Cunningham Place.

Durham City Baptist Church, off Sunderland Road, will host a fun day from noon to 4pm on Saturday, June 21.

In Ushaw Moor, a fun day will be held at the village cricket ground on Saturday, June 21, from 1pm to 4pm.

The church will host a baptisms service on Sunday, June 22, at The Durham Centre, Belmont Industrial Estate, at 10.30am.

All events are open to all. For further details, visit

via Church stages week of fun events From The Northern Echo.

Ushaw Historic Catholic Seminary could become Durham University college

December 19, 2013 Leave a comment


TALKS have begun which could see a historic former Catholic seminary reborn as a university college.

Bosses from Durham University and the Roman Catholic Church are in negotiations over the future of Ushaw College, a 200-year-old priests’ training school which counts among its alumni Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman, Bishop Hugh Lindsay and comedians Johnny Vegas and Alfie Joey.

The seminary, at Ushaw Moor, near Durham, closed in July 2011, amid falling rolls and worsening finances.

But days before the doors closed plans were announced to turn the Grade I and II-listed buildings into an extension of Durham University’s world-leading Centre for Catholic Studies, under the new name of The International Centre for Advanced Catholic Studies.

Today (Wednesday, December 18), the University and Church announced they were in talks which could see most of the college occupied and managed by the University, while still owned and overseen by the Church.

They also signed a so-called Heads of Terms agreement, cementing the partnership.

Professor Chris Higgins, vice-chancellor of Durham University, said: “The signing of the Heads of Terms marks a significant step in exploring the potential opportunities for this historically important site.

“We look forward to working with the Ushaw trustees and with the many communities that have an interest in supporting the future of the college to ensure that its collections are preserved intact in Durham and are made more widely available to the community as well as to educators and researchers from the University and around the world.”

Bishop Terence Drainey, Bishop of Middlesbrough and acting chair of the college’s trustees, said: “We are delighted that the work and efforts of the joint steering group for the Ushaw project have resulted in a proposal that could allow the heritage of Ushaw College, its collections and library, as well as its educational traditions, to continue and to secure a future for this very important estate within the Catholic community.”

Prof Paul Murray, dean and director of the University’s Centre for Catholic Studies, said the collaboration held real promise for the region, the national and international Catholic community and the international scholarly community and urged supporters to come forward to get involved.

via Historic Catholic seminary could become Durham University college From The Northern Echo.

The Gospel Window | St Lukes Church, Ushaw Moor.

January 17, 2013 Leave a comment