Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Before we go on tour come and hear us here!
Your last chance to listen to us in public before the Schola visit Austria, returning to the same location in Austria which we visited 3 years ago. :-)

You'll need to past the URL into your own browser first!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Tours confirmed!

I'm delighted to say that we have not one, but two overseas tours confirmed for later this year. Both will probably only involve the schola due to limitations in numbers, but there are plans currently being discussed to take the full choir abroad in 2016 as it's our 20th Anniversary year, so watch this space..

Meanwhile, tour no. 1 is to Switzerland & Austria taking place from 12th-19th September with a return visit to Tirol. We were there 3 years ago, which was a hugely enjoyable experience, marred only by me developing a very heavy cold which prevented me from doing my fair share of the driving!

We'll be flying in/out of Zurich (top photo) so I hope we can spend a little time there before heading off east to Austria. The photo below is of the church of the Seven Sorrows in Imsterberg, where we sang last time & to which we have received a return invitation if we can fit it in!

Tour no. 2 is to the east coast of Ireland, being based in Arklow, Co. Wicklow.This will take place over the 1st weekend of October. More details will emerge as the year progresses, but we'll be singing in both the Catholic & C of I churches in the town as well as a commemorative service in the grounds of the former Dominican Priory.

Two of us are going across in March to check the locations, & finalise details of services etc. The fact that we'll be over there on St. Patrick's Day is entirely coincidental!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Byzantine Liturgy at Ampleforth Abbey. This Saturday, 24th January. 10:30am

This may be of interest to some readers who live locally. A fully choral Orthodox Liturgy celebrated at Ampleforth with the permission of the Abbot. I wrote about this last year. If nothing else, it's worth going for the food & drink provided afterwards!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

A Fresh Start? Hopefully!

I've been intending to post again on here for months. It just never happened due to being overtaken by other events - not all church music related. Discovering that the blog had been hacked as well hasn't helped!

Apparently, hackers can gain entry to individual blogs via 3rd party widgets and post what they like, advertising sites which I sincerely hope no visitor in the last few months followed.. Fortunately, they weren't able to take over the blog completely (which has happened to a number of others) so I've been able to delete all the rubbish and the widgets and all would appear to be well. Certainly there's been nothing new within the last few days so I'm breathing a cautious sigh of relief.

Like me, the Rudgates also seem to have been overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the activity at St. Wilfrid's church in York over the last 12 months. Since the Margaret Clitherow Pilgrimage, we've done very little other than to honour our commitments to Founders' Day at Barnard Castle, the Solemn Mass at Brinkburn and the annual Carol Service at St Mary's Bishophill Jnr.

St. W's now has a Director of Music which to me is a blessed relief, as all I have to do there now is sing (when time and health permit.) The latter hasn't been brilliant either over the last year & I'm still suffering from the after effects of a very bad cold/virus picked up just before Christmas.

I've decided that  we're going to redress the balance this year and try and do more with the Rudgates, rather than just concentrate on York - convenient though that is!

We already have invitations to sing for the Ordinariate Community in Manchester, a Mass honouring the Lincolnshire Martyrs, a Mass at Jervaulx Abbey and Vespers @ St Mary's as part of Medieval Open Churches weekend. This in addition to some of us singing for the annual EF Priest/Server training conference which this year takes place in the splendid surroundings of Prior Park College in Bath.

I'm particularly keen on going to Manchester, because we missed out last year due to being committed to singing at Brinkburn the same day. It will also give us the chance to experience something entirely different from the Roman Rite (in either Form) that most of us a familiar with, be that singing for a BCP style Eucharist (with additions for catholic use) or a full-scale choral Evensong, something the Rudgates haven't done before, not even for the C of E!

In addition to this there are potentially two foreign tours. There is a chance that the schola might be involved in commemorative events in Co. Wicklow in Ireland. We'll need more details before this can be confirmed. More likely is a return trip to the Alps & the Tyrol, this time flying in & out of Switzerland (probably Zurich.) The latter is likely to happen towards the end of September & plans are already being made. We might even get to sing in Innsbruck this time, something we couldn't do in 2012 due to an appointment with a fairly famous beer festival being held in Bavaria.. :-)

All in all, a potentially exciting year. I just want my health to improve, so that I can enjoy it!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014


I've received a request to give this event some publicity, which I'm more than happy to do. One of our Schola members is going even though he doesn't fit the age criteria. He's certainly young at heart though!


Guest Speakers - John Pridmore, Fr. Gregory Person OP, Fr. Matthew Goddard FSSP

There will be:-
Sung/High Masses
Marian Procession

Cottages (student style dormitory accommodation) £18 per person per night (incl. food).

Guest House (mostly single rooms - hotel style accommodation) £60 per person per night (incl. food).

Day Guests. For those wishing to come for the day on Saturday or Sunday - please bring a packed lunch. It will not be possible to provide food in the Guest Refectory for people coming for the day.

-Please note to guarantee your place this year Douai Abbey have requested that everyone books in 3 weeks before the start of the weekend i.e. 29th August 2014.

How to book

For more details, please see:-

Or use the online booking system at:

Monday, 26 May 2014

Catching up...

Much has happened since the last time I was able to write and post anything here. I won't go into detail on everything, just pick out a few highlights, so here goes!

The annual Margaret Clitherow pilgrimage on 29th March was again a huge success. You can see a very short video commemorating the days events here.

Holy Week and Easter came and went at St. Wilfrid's. This year for the first time, two of the Rudgates sang in choir for the offices of Matins & Lauds (Ordinary Form) for Good Friday & Holy Saturday.

Low Week saw some of us travel down to Belmont Abbey in Herefordshire, about 2 miles west of Hereford to take part in the annual Training conference for Clergy & Servers in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Our role was to provide the music for all the public services during the week. As we didn't want to interfere with the existing Monastic Office, this consisted of singing Vespers twice and Solemn Mass three times, so there was plenty of time to explore the local area, and for me to indulge in the local cider & perry!

All services were recorded for posterity on my trusty camcorder and can be found here: - Tuesday Vespers - Wednesday Mass St. Catherine of Siena - Wednesday 1st Vespers of St. Joseph the worker - Thursday Mass St Joseph the worker - Friday Solemn Requiem

There are some odd camera angles, but that's the disadvantage of guessing and placing the camcorder in a position where it's hoped that it will capture most of what's going on, and leaving it there whilst taking part yourself!  I'm already looking forward to next year, wherever that may be.

On 9th May, some of us went up to sing with the Darlington Ordinariate choir for the annual May Procession and Devotions. another wonderful service, and another Mozart Mass!

More recently, returning to St. Wilfrid's, we had a visit by Fr Cassian, the prior of the monastery at St Benedict’s birthplace in Norcia, Italy, who gave a splendid talk on the place of chant in the Church’s worship. This was followed by Monastic Compline, which caused a little confusion, as it's not quite the same as Compline which we sing regularly at St. Mary's! Again, some of us sang in choir in the Sanctuary, which is a very rewarding place to sing from!

We're now working towards Mass for Ascensiontide at St. W's, which will be followed swiftly by the first High Mass there for decades on the Feast of Pentecost, so do come along if you can!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

St. Margaret Clitherow Pilgrimage - THIS SATURDAY!

Posted here in case you hadn't noticed it on other blogs/websites which are much bigger than mine. :-)