Monday, 7 May 2007

More On Tyburn

I didn't post anything yesterday - I drove down to Tyburn after the morning Mass (which was really awesome: Latin, ad orientem, the Canon said quietly (and near silence from the congregation during it... especially during the Consecration... ), incense, bells... a foretaste of heaven!) and by the time I got home in the evening, I just wanted to say Compline and go to bed...

The Tyburn Walk was very moving (sorry, pun not intended: I couldn't think of any other way to phrase it!!) My ankle has been playing up in the past week, so I nearly didn't go, but I find it such an uplifting experience to recall how the Martyrs were so firm in their faith that I just couldn't bear to stay at home. I was wary of injury though: I broke my ankle a couple of years ago and it took an inordinately long time to heal... and it flares up if I'm not careful. Given that I want to be reasonably agile by the time I go to Lourdes, I have to try not to overdo things!

So I compromised. I walked for a bit of the way, and caught cabs at various points. Central London is great that way! I also got to chat to the cabbies about the Tyburn Walk, so I felt as though I was spreading the word.

The first church we stopped at was St. Etheldreda's, Ely Place. I hadn't realised that there are two huge stained glass windows... (one was behind me) and there are several statues around the church showing some of the martyrs, including one of my favourites, St. Anne Line. I didn't have the opportunity to get any good photos though: I shall have to go back.

St. Anselm & St. Cecilia's is very impressive. It's a new church, built to replace the chapel of the Sardinian Embassy (the first public Catholic chapel to be opened in London after the Reformation, and the "Cathedral" of Bishop Challoner) It's not very noticeable from the outside: I had to give the cab driver directions!





At St. Patrick's, Soho Square, we were blessed with the relics of St. Oliver Plunkett (the last martyr) and St. Cuthbert Mayne (the first seminary martyr) This was, for me, the saddest part of the pilgrimage: St Patrick's has become terribly run down and dilapidated over the years. I gather that they are desperate to raise money to restore the building.

The final stop was Tyburn Convent itself. The photo shows the grille (opened just before Benediction) and just the other side you can see a nun (a proper one: habit and all) kneeling in adoration.




I was delighted to bump into that aristocrat of the Blogosphere: Sir Dan of the Nesbitry...








Right at the end, we had tea and sandwiches: here you can see Monsignor Stark, the Master of the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom. And two of the Sisters kindly agreed to allow me to take a photo... I think that the nun on the right is Mother Simeon, and the nun on the left is Sister Polycarp... but they were laughing like hyenas (I had explained that I wanted to put their photo on the blog) and I am left with the distinct impression that they may have been pulling my leg!!


I was also delighted when, after explaining that I had my own blog to the gentleman acting as official photographer for the event, he asked me what it was called, and when I told him it was "Mulier Fortis" he actually said that he read it!

I've also seen that Fr. Tim, who gave the Benediction, has posted his thoughts on the Walk (but no photos... he didn't have his camera, heheheh...)

5 comments:

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

Those...aren't...nooooo...

REAL NUNS!

Mac McLernon said...

Yes indeedy... real ones. Floor length habits and veils. And Perpetual Adoration...

Anne said...

You may want to mention that each Friday and Saturday Tyburn Convent have a Lay Womens Association of Vigilants. (all night vigil) Starting at 9:30pm and finishing at 5:30am. It has been very well attended since the late 60s since it was founded. A very balanced vigil system that is two hours of watching in front of the Blessed Sacrament and two hours of resting (in the common area provided), each group alternates.

Ask the Vigilant Sister at Tyburn Convent for more details.

julie said...

I remember Sister (now Mother) Simeon back in 1989 when she was playing snooker to raise money for charity.....in fact I was there at Tyburn when she took her final vows. I was with part of the media people. I was behind the grille and watched for a short while.

What has happened to the Nuns now....where have they gone. I say this as I now understand the convent on Bayswater Road is now the Jesus Army London Centre.

I would love to send blessings to the Sisters.

- said...

The younger one is Mother Miriam and the older one is Mother Simeon.

Mother Miriam left the Tyburn community in around 2007 some time, shortly before I did, and Mother Simeon left about a year later.

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