A welcome word from Fr Charlie

After many months of lockdown it was a great joy to be able to begin the process of reopening the retreat house to guests last week. After much planning and consultation the Community welcomed a small number of individually-guided retreatants for a retreat conducted by Oswin and Nicolas, as well as a few individuals who have been enquiring about life in the Community.

One consequence of the great variations of heat and rain we have been experiencing in recent months is a glut of fruit that has been emerging all over the grounds, out of which have appeared gooseberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, mulberries, figs and, of course, apples. A good number of lockdown afternoons have been given over to an effort to gather in this great abundance, and through the good offices of Fr Thomas some of it has already begun to appear in the refectory in the form of jam. Added to this, after a flying visit to Stanbrook Abbey in North Yorkshire yesterday, Nicolas, Thomas and Charlie were finally able to collect the juice from last year’s apple harvest, pressed and bottled and ready for sale.

Fr Charlie nCR

Auction Update from Fr John

Although we had to postpone this year’s auction due to Covid, the good news is that we now have a date in mind for next year. It is some time off so we have around a year to prepare. We have some marvellous stuff and there is something for everyone. There are stamps, coins, rare books, some fabulous clocks, antiques, paintings, comics, cinema, sport and royal interest, rare propelling pencils – you want it and we’ve got it.

Of course I’m never satisfied. We have the material for a very good auction but I’m looking forward to a really great one.  When the next one comes I will be nearer 78 than 77 and no-one is going to take me seriously after that. Our highest total so far has been £60,000+. Let’s try for 70. I enjoy it all so much that sometimes I forget the serious side. The Community like everyone else will suffer great loss of income because of lost revenue in every department. In terms of our own needs this is not really important – but the works that we do for the Church and for the world do depend on our maintenance of the institutions that operate at or from Mirfield (teaching, retreats, spiritual direction and support to overseas missions). The auction is a great effort on the part of many people and it will go quite a way to helping CR in its work for the Kingdom.

So please help in any way that you can. At the moment there are a lot of things being offered to me from all over the country so one way in which some could help would be to collect and transport. Please keep the auction in your prayers and please tell others about it.

Fr John CR

News from the Library

The Community has recently received an amazing addition to the Library collection. A generous donation has been revealed to be an extraordinarily beautiful book, full of fascinating illustrations from a collection belonging to the museum – Pinacoteca Vaticana. The book is a showcase for the ‘Light for Art’ project, where a new system of lighting art (created by ENEI) was installed at the museum. The technology of the lighting is to help safeguard Rome’s artistic heritage.

Title: Pinacoteca Vaticana; Papal Monuments Museums Galleries; In the Painting the Expression of the Divine Message In the Light the Root of the Pictorial Creation.

Authors: Baldini, Umberto et al. Published by Milano, Fabbri / Rizzoli., 1992

We’re good to go!

On August 7 (the day that new local restrictions were announced that made everything feel uncertain again) we opened our Retreat House doors to our first guests for over four months. It has taken a lot of preparation and planning to get to this point and we have had to endlessly re-visit government and hospitality industry guidance to ensure that our practice meets the COVID-19 secure criteria. Welcoming guests and offering hospitality is an important part of monastic life and feeling our way towards being able to resume this as soon as possible has been uniquely challenging in a time of pandemic. While the well-being of brothers, whose home this is, has been our primary focus, we have also had to take into account all our inter-relating site partners, as well as our staff and volunteers, who are now beginning to return to site in a limited way after months of absence.

It was a happy coincidence that, at about the time we were ready to re-open, we heard that VisitEngland, in partnership with the national tourist organisations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, had launched a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark, ‘Good to Go’. It seemed a good thing to apply for so that we could pass on our confidence about re-opening to all our past and potential guests who might be wondering if they could now safely come and stay. After completing a detailed questionnaire about our risk assessment process and the measures we have taken to operate as safely as possible, we have now received our ‘Good to Go’ certificate. 

We’ve only been open a few weeks, so it is still early days and we are not complacent about the future. Life with COVID-19 puts us all in a new situation. While it is not how we would like it to be we are learning to live much more with the possible and the provisional – to become aware that, in this place where attentiveness is encouraged, a few life-saving practices can, quite naturally, become part of that attention. While we have had to make some changes and introduce some restrictions, it has become very obvious, even in the short time we have been open, that it takes more than a pandemic to hinder the work of the Holy Spirit and that in the risen Christ something new and life-giving is always waiting to emerge. Come and see! 

Barbara Clarke & the Guest Team

For further information about visiting us please click here

To enquire about staying with us please email guests@mirfield.org.uk

Visitor & Guest Update Regarding Covid-19

Over the past few months, the Community has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that all those who live, work, visit and stay here are kept as safe as possible.

Due to the hard work and dedication of a small team who have worked tirelessly towards the reopening of the Retreat House, we are pleased to announce the Community has achieved “We’re Good To Go” status!

Acquiring the Industry Standard mark means that a tourism and hospitality business has followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, has a Risk Assessment in place and a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing

Pre-booking is essential. We are not able to accept short-notice bookings at this time. Please ensure that you read our Covid-19 Secure Risk Assessment (updated 25 September 2020) and guest information before you book.

While there will be much that is familiar, we have also introduced procedures and practices to help keep everyone safe. These include:

  • Frequent hand washing and sanitising. (There are several hand sanitising points around the site.)
  • Maintain 2m social distancing at all times and wear a face mask in all public areas.

To view the full list of procedures we have put in place please read our Guest Information document (updated 25 September 2020).

We aim to open the Church during service times only and anyone wishing to join us must contact the prior before attending.

For further enquires please email guests@mirfield.org.uk



We invite your prayers for all those about to be ordained, and particularly for the 19 students of the College: 7 to be ordained to the Diaconate, and 12 to be ordained Priest.

It is to a very uncertain world, confronting Covid19, that we send out our students. We commend them and those to be made priest to your prayers along with the parishes in which they will serve. 

+Mark Sowerby

To The Diaconate

Annie Bolger
(Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Brussels, Belgium)

Marianne Hayward
(Minister in Secular Employment at St Nicholas, Elm Park, NHS Consultant Psychiatrist)

Benjamin Tyler 
(SS Peter & Paul, Wantage)

Mitzi James
(St Mary with St George, Hornsey)

Daniel Wyman
(Holy Trinity, Eltham)     

Shavaun Shodeinde
(St Mary Magdalene, Wandsworth Common)

The information above is based on information so far received.

To The Priesthood

Benjamin Jarvis
(St Mary, Monkseaton)

Kathryn Goldsmith
(St James the Great, Chapelthorpe and St Peter, Woolley with West Bretton)

Paul Wheeler  
(St Mary’s, Nantwich)

Caroline Rink
(The Benefice of St Mary’s with All Souls, Kilburn and St James’ West Hampstead) Edmonton  

Lois Ward  
(Benefice of Poulton, Carleton & Singleton)


Carol Schofield   
(Wythenshawe Benefice St Luke, St Martin, St Richard of Chichester William Temple Church)

Paul Fitzpatrick   
(St Michael and All Angels, South Bennington with St Paul, Roundshaw)


CR Festival Day – 11 July 2020

Due to the current situation we sadly cannot welcome guests, visitors or friends to share our Festival weekend with us this year. We do still intend to hold the Festival, to thank God for all that he has given us and to thank him for our wider family. We would also like to thank everyone who supports the life and work of CR here at Mirfield and further afield, and so we would like to welcome you to join with us virtually. We intend to stream our services, and hope that you can join us if not for all, then for some of the weekend.  Please see below for our proposed timetable, the final version will be published in the June Quarterly, and will be available on our Website and Facebook so please check for updates.

Virtual Festival Day Timetable

Friday 10 July:

4.00pmSilent Prayer in the Community Church (Live Stream)
5.00pmMeditation – Fr John (Pre-recorded)
6.00pmSolemn Evensong (Live Stream)
9.15pmCompline – Greater silence begins (Live Stream)

Saturday 11 July:

7.30amMattins (Live Stream)
10.30amTalk from the Superior (Live)
11.15amTalk on Benedictine life – Fr Nicolas (Pre-recorded)
12.00pmSolemn Mass with Sermon (Live Stream)
2.30pmStations – Various talks and a virtual garden tour (Live)
4.00pmExposition and Benediction (Live Stream)
5.00pmSolemn Evensong (Live Stream)
9.15pmResurrection Vigil – Greater silence begins (Live Stream)

During Festival Eucharists it is customary for our Companions to renew their Commitments. This year Commitment cards will be put on the altar at the offertory and Fr John will say a prayer on behalf of the Companions, we hope that Companions will affirm their commitment at home either at that moment or at some time during the day.

CR Auction Announcement

After a lot of consultation and a great deal of calculation we have decided to postpone the auction scheduled for 5 September 2020 until a date to be decided in 2021.

Given the imponderables created by the pandemic this seems to be a wise decision. Mirfield auctions are popular not just because they raise money, they are great social events bringing together a lot of people and I have made a lot of friends because of them. So it seems right to wait for a more congenial atmosphere rather than try to dispose of the items already collected or promised.

I confess to feeling a little disappointed. However as Desperate Dan would say Nil Desperandum! Let’s look on this as an opportunity. About a decade ago I suggested that we have a one-off auction in which I believed that I could make £10,000. The first two auctions raised over £60,000 each and in total we have raised about £200,000. I hoped that this year’s would raise £10,000 and that this would be a good time to retire. Actually with pre-auction sales, what I already have in store and what has been promised we are quite near achieving that. So with a whole year ahead of us let’s be bold. £50,000 is not beyond our possibilities and that would make a grand total of a quarter of a million. Let’s do it!

The Community of the Resurrection and its various operations mean a lot to many people, the financial cost of the virus will be very, very heavy but with God’s help we can move mountains. Please pray for us, please support us.

Fr John CR