Canon Richard Walker of the Birmingham Archdiocese will celebrate a special Mass to commemorate the English Martyrs in the beautiful grounds of Harvington Hall in Worcestershire, Sunday 4th September.
A house which holds many secrets, Harvington contains seven priest hides. Humphrey Pakington, who inherited the estate in 1578 was a staunch Catholic and thus subject to the harsh penal laws of the Elizabethan age.
Humphrey was a recusant, meaning he refused to attend the Church of England service on Sundays, a refusal that initially cost 12p a week but increased to £20 a month (equating to around £4000 today).
From 1585 it was illegal for a Catholic priest to step foot in England, making it necessary for Humphrey to equip Harvington with the impressive priest hides, which visitors can see today. We don’t know the full story of these priest hides but we do know that some of them were almost certainly the handiwork of the master carpenter St Nicholas Owen.
The annual pilgrimage to Harvington offers you a chance to reflect on our own faith and the persecution, and often martyrdom, of Catholics during the English Reformation.
Guided tours of the house are free on the day of the pilgrimage.
You can bring your own picnic and the Malt House cafe will be open to purchase cakes and treats.
The parish will provide free refreshments (tea, coffee, juice) in the Priest’s garden by Harvington Parish Church after the Mass (feel free to bring a picnic to the Priest’s Garden too).
Timings and information
Doors open 1pm. Picnic area open. Malt House Cafe open to purchase tea, coffee and a bite to eat.
Confessions from 1.45 pm – 2.30 pm
Mass at 3.00 pm
After Mass: Free refreshments (tea, coffee, juice) in the Priest’s garden by Harvington Parish Church. Picnics welcome.
You must bring your own chairs
The Hall has free parking and a picnic area.
Free timed tours of Harvington Hall are available and may be booked on the day at the table in the courtyard.