6th September 2015: Pilgrimage to the Shrine of the English Martyrs at Harvington Hall

The parish's annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of the English Martyrs at Harvington Hall, Kidderminster, Worcestershire took place on Sunday 6th September. The principal celebrant was the Rt. Rev. Robert Byrne, the Preacher Fr. Brian Doolan and the Mass was attended and concelebrated by many Parish Priests from around our diocese.

The four martyrs especially venerated at Harvington, who worked at various times in the area, are: St John Wall - hung, drawn and quartered at Red Hill, Worcester on 2 August 1679, and canonised in 1970; St Nicholas Owen - who died under torture in the Tower on 2 March 1606, and  was canonised in 1970; Bl Edward Oldcorne - executed at Red Hill, Worcester on 7 April 1606 and beatified in 1929; and Bl Arthur Bell - executed at Tyburn on 11 December 1643 and beatified in 1987.

The manor house was built by Humphrey Pakington (1555-1631) a courtier from the household of the Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, who managed to practice his Catholic faith in secret during a time of  great persecution. Harvington Hall has the finest surviving series of priest-holes anywhere in the country and during Elizabethan times offered shelter to many recusant priests.

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