Thursday, 1 July 2010

The Annual Founders' Day Memorial Requiem for John and Josephine Bowes

Saturday 31st July, 2010

St Mary's Church,
Birch Road,
Barnard Castle,
Co. Durham.
DL12 8NR

The annual Requiem for the founders of the church & museum.

This is an unashamed plug for a service we've been involved in for the last 6 years. Our Schola has sung the Gregorian Chant Requiem + Absolutions, and will do so again at the end of the month, unless we get enough volunteers for a polyphonic setting of the Requiem instead. :-)

The Parish Priest, Fr Wilfrid Elkin has been a tutor at Ushaw for the past two trad Training Conferences, and gave a super talk about one aspect of life there as a seminarian at the close of this year's conference, which was very well received! He's a wonderful priest, and it would be great to see a good turnout for this year's Memorial Requiem. Do come along if you can.

Some info from the parish website...

If John Bowes' birth had been legitimate, then he would have become the Earl of Strathmore and our history would probably have been different. As it was, he inherited lands and money from the old Earl, his father, and after a classic education for a gentleman of his time he developed an interest in the theatre, was a successful owner of race horses (his horse Western Australian won the Derby in 1853), was a popular MP for several years, and together with his French wife Josephine became a great collector of French paintings and other artifacts which he intended to house in a great museum to be built at Barnard Castle. John was not a Catholic, but his wife was. He was devoted to his wife, who was much younger than him, and when she died in 1874 he decided to fulfill her desire to have a chapel next to the museum on which work had already started. The chapel reached the height of the eves when John became short of money to complete the museum. Work was stopped, and the chapel stood for almost fifty years as a folly. John died in 1885, but his will was not probated until 1905. Then began years of discussion between the trustees of the museum and the trustees of the chapel as to its siting and use. Eventually in 1926 agreement was reached for the chapel to be moved to a corner of the museum site, and the building was finished and opened in 1928. The bodies of John and Josephine Bowes were brought from their temporary resting-place at the vault at Gibside Hall, Dunston, and they rest now behind the apse of St Mary's Church with their tomb directly facing the front door of their Museum. A Requiem Mass for Founders' Day is celebrated each year in July.

Useful links.

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