New book on Gerard Manley Hopkins in Lydiate

Concert in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral: New setting of a ninth-century Gregorian Mass (Fri 7 June 2019)

Bicentenary of St Mary's and St John's, Wigan


New book on Gerard Manley Hopkins in Lydiate

Gerard Manley Hopkins : the Lydiate Connections by Will Daunt

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Gerard Manley Hopkins' poetry had an enormous influence on the evolution of twentieth century poetry in English, and two of his most distinctive poems were written while he was posted to the Jesuit church of St. Francis Xavier, in Liverpool in 1880-1881. 'Felix Randal' tells of the life and death of a parishioner that the poet had ministered to. 'Spring and Fall' was composed during one of Hopkins' frequent visits to the village of Lydiate, where he was sent to say Mass at Rose Hill House. This local guide reflects particularly on what might have inspired the poem: the countryside, the people and Hopkins' own life. It includes specially-commissioned artwork by Susan Hodgkins, and concludes with a local guided walk and an Afterword by the renowned Hopkins scholar, Professor Joseph Feeney S.J.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will be given to the charity, Hospice Africa.

The book will be published in June 2019. It will be launched on Monday 17 June as part of a Heritage Evening at St. Anne's Pastoral Centre, Ormskirk L39 4TG. The evening begins at 7.30 and there will be a requested donation of £3 per attendee, which will be given to the Parish's Syria project.

Copies of the book (cover price £6) will be on sale for £5, and subsequently at the full price on Amazon.


Concert in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral: New setting of a ninth-century Gregorian Mass (Fri 7 June 2019)


A new setting of a ninth-century Gregorian Mass, Schola Missa de Angelis, will be performed in a major concert in Liverpool next month. The piece, written by the widely acclaimed Polish-British Catholic composer, Roxanna Panufnik, is the first new plainsong Mass setting of note for nearly fifty years.

The Mass will be sung by the combined choirs of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, forming a 100-strong choir for this special performance. The concert will be take place in the grand setting of Liverpool Cathedral, with its extraordinary acoustic, on the evening of Friday 7th June. Also in the programme will be a wide range of works for choir and strings by Henry Purcell, including a Latin setting.

Panufnik is known for her unique style, combining tradition, passion and spiritual sensitivity. Among her most frequently performed works is the Westminster Mass, commissioned on the occasion of Cardinal Hume’s 75th birthday. The composer will be in Liverpool for this, the first performance of the Schola Missa de Angelis in the north of England.

Christians across the North West understand the importance of the living tradition of English liturgical music, and have great affection for it. This unique performance, featuring two of the greatest cathedral choirs in the country, is sure to be a memorable occasion. Tickets are £15 and £10 and are available from


Bicentenary of St Mary's and St John's, Wigan

To mark this bicentenary, two articles from our journal, usually restricted to members, are made available here: one is on Wigan's first post-Reformation Catholic church of 1688, and the other is on the controversy that led to the building of two Catholic churches about a hundred yards apart in 1819.

St Mary's and St John's Wigan (PDF)

 To further mark the bicentenary, we make available another article from our journal. This article from the 2017 volume is on Thomas Mewburn Crook, the sculptor who carved most of the sculptures in St Mary's.

Thomas Mewburn Crook (PDF)