Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in Scotland
under the patronage of Saint John Henry Newman

Ordinariate Scotland Events

Saturday 16th October 2021
Highland Ordinariate Autumn Outing

On Saturday 16th October we will meet at 12 noon at Tynet, 3 miles east of Fochabers, just off the A98 to begin our quest to discover more about our new Catholic heritage which has parallels with Episcopalians worshipping in secret during the days of the Penal Laws.

The theme of our outing will be to explore How Catholics Survived in Difficult Times in the 1700s with Bryan Miller and Dr Shelagh Noden and also how Anglican chant was being used for the singing of psalms during Mass in early nineteenth century Catholic Scotland.

We will travel by car and meet at 11.45am at St Ninian’s Church at Tynet, east of Fochabers just off the A98 Fochabers to Buckie Road.

St Ninian’s Church at Tynet

We will begin with a very special celebration of Solemn Holy Mass of Our Lady of Walsingham at St Ninian’s Church at Tynet, three miles east of Fochabers just off the A98. Known as the Bethlehem of Banffshire, it was built in 1755 and is the oldest surviving Catholic church in Scotland built after the Reformation.

Outside it looks like a long, low barn or a row of simple cottages because it was a ‘clandestine church’ designed to look anonymous at a time when Catholic worship was only tolerated in Britain.

The Mass will be 'special' because Dr Shelagh Noden has gathered together a group of singers who will sing the Merbecke setting of the Mass in four part harmony, and will also sing a Psalm to Anglican chant found in a manuscript choir book belonging to the Lismore Seminary founded in 1803 on the island of Lismore off the west coast of Scotland.

Writing in the Light of the North, Dr Shelagh Noden wrote: ”Several Anglican chants appear in this book, with one by the English composer Jonathan Battishill (1738-1801)”.

”The chants are grouped together with the heading 'Chants for the psalm after the Epistle at High Mass or at Vespers when sung', showing that these chants were intended for use at Mass. Another chant is entitled 'Lismore' suggesting that its composer was a member of the college, and another was named 'Ushaw' after the seminary in north east England, near Durham.”

After Mass you are invited to enjoy a picnic lunch (which you will have brought with you!) before we travel the short distance to visit St Gregory’s Church at Preshome, a 'Category A' listed building built in 1788. It is the first church building to be openly built by Catholics in Scotland since the Reformation of 1560. Catholic worship had previously been confined to private homes and clandestine churches.

While here, Dr Shelagh Noden will tell us about her discovery that Anglican chant, which has much in common with Gregorian psalm tones from which it was originally derived, was being sung in some parts of the Catholic Church in Scotland in the 1800s.

Our next visit will be to the pre-reformation graveyard, St Ninian’s Churchyard, the oldest still extant Catholic site near the Braes of Enzie. The Chapel was built between 1687 and 1688 during a period of tolerance and continued in use for thirty-seven years. Following Culloden, the Chapel fell further into ruin.

In 1883 when workmen were taking down the pillars of the previous entrance to the churchyard, they discovered the keystone of the original church which has now been incorporated in the facade of the Chantry chapel at the south east corner of the graveyard.

The small Chantry Chapel to the Dawson family has a beautiful reredos carved by Hugh Lorimer, in the style of Eric Gill, of whom he was a pupil. Lorimer was a convert from a prominent Episcopalian family and the son of the architect, Sir Robert Lorimer.

Our final visit of the day will be to the Garden Café in the Gordon Castle Estate Walled Garden for afternoon tea before heading for home.

You do not need to me a Member or Associate Member
of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
to join us . . . everyone is welcome.

Gordon Castle Estate Garden Café

St Gregory’s Church, Preshome

St Ninian’s Churchyard

Postponed - new date to be arranged

Ordinariate Scotland visit to Abbotsford House

The Canonisation of Saint John Henry Newman has been a major event for the Ordinariate and here in Scotland in 2020 we atr planning to celebrate in a special way.

Abbotsford House, near Melrose, the home of Sir Walter Scott who died in 1832, later became the home of James Hope-Scott, a good friend of John Henry Newman. The two men had become friends at Oxford where James was an influential and enthusiastic Tractarian.

Newman was received into the Catholic Church in 1845 and in 1851 both Robert and Charlotte were also received. Also at this time that Sir Walter’s baronial mansion, Abbotsford House became their home. Newman stayed with his friend at Abbotsford on numerous occasions, celebrating Holy Mass there in Sir Walter Scott’s domestic chapel in the basement of the house and later in the property’s current chapel, built by the Hope-Scott’s.

Abbotsford House

In recognition of this friendship, Newman gave two beautiful chasubles, as well as his biretta and missal, which were used by him when he visited Abbotsford. One of the chasubles is believed to include 16th century tapestry panels mounted onto 18th century silk, and the second is a fine example of a 19th century vestment.

These vestments are now the centre piece of an exhibition in the chapel at Abbotsford House, which is still used by the Catholic Church in Melrose. Our plan is that the Ordinariate in Scotland should arrange a special event, not just for ourselves but for the wider Ordinariate at Abbotsford House in 2020 lead by Mgr Keith Newton.

... more events here as the year progresses