ECHA Annual General Meeting, Saturday 24 October

Due to the ongoing pandemic the ECHA’s AGM for 2020 will be held via
Zoom on Saturday 24th October 2020 at 09.30 a.m.

The AGM itself is expected to last 20 minutes.

There will then follow a virtual break, and, at 10.15 a.m. Dr Carmen Mangion will present her paper, Changing Dimensions of Women’s Religious Life, 1945 – 1990

The Zoom link is as follows:

Time: Oct 24, 2020 09:30 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting :

Meeting ID: 890 3911 6049
Passcode: pU8w1u

Posted in Annual General Meeting

ECHA Newsletter June/September 2020

We apologise for the late edition of the newsletter this year. Various aspects of the Covid situation have combined to make publication difficult. Please click the link to download it, together with news of our Annual General Meeting which will take place via Zoom on 24 October 2020.

Posted in Newsletters

Spanish Civil War Letters by Loreto Sisters, 1936-38, by Dr Benjamin Hazard

ECHA Podcast Artwork v2

We are grateful to Dr Hazard, of the School of History, University College Dublin, for providing us with this recording for our podcast which relates to a unique collection of letters written by Loreto Sisters during the Spanish Civil War. Their Irish Mother Provincial, Mother Baptist Gibney and some of the Loreto Sisters in Spain, were British passport holders. He discusses how the British embassy in Madrid, the Royal Navy;and the Scottish Ambulance Unit helped the Loreto Sisters to organise their evacuation from the Spanish capital.

Dr Hazard was assisted with some of the research for this article with a grant from ECHA.

Click on the arrow below to listen to this talk or go to the image above to find the talk in our podcast    

Posted in Conferences, ECHA Podcast, Religious Orders | Tagged , ,

New publication on the early Bishops of Portsmouth

A new booklet has been published by the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society on the early Bishops of Portsmouth, each of which had a connection with the island.

You can find more information here

Posted in Catholic Bishops

Three Marian Shrines in 16th Century England by Tim Guile

Tim Guile writes a fascinating account of the medieval shrines of Ipswich, Willesden and Walsingham. Read his paper in full here

Posted in English Catholic History

Cluniac Death Rituals: A Comparison with Covid Britain by John Mullaney

ECHA member John Mullaney has written a timely paper. Click here to read it in full.

Posted in English Monastic History

Renaissance Man: The World of Thomas Watson by Ian Johnson

This book has been newly published by one of our members.

Who was Thomas Watson? Famous in his day, he was the epitome of Renaissance man: classical scholar, linguist, poet, playwright, musician, scientist, thinker, traveller, cosmologist, a man of intense curiosity. “A very learned man that could tell strange things”. His book of 100 love poems still intrigues, and musicologists admire his deft translations of Italian madrigals. He was a sociable companion, too, a loyal friend of poets and playwrights, and a wit-“witty Tom Watson“.

Watson mixed with the highest in the land, including the Earl of Oxford’s literary clique and the rival house of Philip and Mary Sidney. He was a close friend of the atheist Christopher Marlowe, and colleague of the Roman Catholic composer William Byrd. Yet, Watson also mingled with the basest in society. He was a government agent, an acquaintance of the spy master “Mr Secretary” Walsingham and a loved companion of his nephew. Scrapes and scandals dogged his life and even his death in 1592 aged 37 is blemished by a question mark.

History has neglected Tom Watson. By examining his works and the culture in which he mixed, Ian Johnson attempts to get a measure of the man

Posted in English Catholic History

News from the CCS, Durham

The Centre of Catholic Studies in Durham member Dr James Kelly has produced a 15-minute video on English convents in early modern Europe: pilgrimages, relics and Catholic identity. It is available here and is part of the Durham University Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies’ series exploring the traditions and wider context of ancient and modern pilgrimage.

The other videos already available in this series are:

Light and the Cult of St Thomas Becket (Dr Tom Nickson)

Holy Water and Healing Wells (Prof. Robin Coningham)

For further details, please visit the series’ webpages or IMEMS’ Facebook page.

Posted in Centre of Catholic Studies

ECHA COVID-19 update

Sadly we have had to either cancel or postpone all our public events until further notice.

We are planning that our AGM and Day Conference will be go ahead via Zoom on October 24th when Dr Carmen Mangion will be speaking on Changing Dimensions of Women’s Religious Life from 1945-1990.  We will keep you updated.

Posted in English Catholic History

ECHA Newsletter March 2020

Please see the link below for our latest newsletter

ECHA Newsletter_- March 2020

Posted in English Catholic History, Newsletters

London Catholic History Walks 2020

Refer to the London Catholic History Walks website for more details of the events below:

RICHMOND: FRIDAY March 13th, 11am (note time, there is Mass at 10am) St Elizabeth’s RC Church, The Vineyard, Richmond TW10 6AQ. Nearest Tube and main line train RICHMOND. We will explore the Old Palace (Henry VII, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I) and then walk along the river to St John Henry Newman’s family home at Ham.

ISLINGTON: SUNDAY March 15th, 3.30pm at St John the Divine, Islington, London N1 8AL (nearest tube ANGEL). We will learn about the ancient shrine of Our Lady of the Oak, and a modern Catholic heroine, Caroline Chisholm.

 RICHMOND: SUNDAY March 22nd. 3.30pm History Walk RICHMOND. Meet St Elizabeth’s RC Church, Richmond TW10 6AQ

WESTMINSTER: MONDAY March 30th, 6.30pm (after 5.30pm Mass). Meet steps of Westminster Cathedral London SW1P 1LT. We will explore Westminster, the Abbey, Parliament etc.

NO NEED TO BOOK   – JUST TURN UP!  Wear sensible clothing and shoes – we will be walking whatever the weather!

Suggested donation: £10 per adult.

Posted in English Catholic History

The English Reformation and the European Renaissance – CHC conference 28 March 2020

The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst is hosting an academic conference entitled The English Reformation and European Renaissance, whichwill take place on the afternoon of 28th March 2020 and will feature Professors Peter Davidson (Oxford) and Gerard Kilroy (UCL).  They will examine the cultural interaction between England having undergone a religious revolution and continental Europe during the Renaissance.

Professor Davidson will examine how the poetry of the famous Jesuit saint, Robert Southwell, reached and sustained not only its immediate and Catholic audience, but a rather more diverse section of English society. Professor Kilroy will explore how English Catholicism was maintained and nurtured by exiles on the continent, and how a particular relationship between England and Europe continued as a result.

There will follow a Q and A session with the Professors and an optional evening seminar entitled Practical Problems in the Study of the British Catholic Diaspora. For full details and booking, please visit the event’s page on their website: Generous discounts are available for students booking as individuals or as part of a group.



Posted in Stonyhurst

Christian Heritage Centre, Stonyhurst – English Christian History and its Saints – Saturday 7 March

On Saturday 7th March the Christian Heritage Centre, Stonyhurst, Lancashire, will be running a family day on Our English Christian History and Its Saints. This will be a day of learning about and celebrating our English Christian story, and it will feature workshops, talks and a history walk for the adults, with parallel creative activities for the children. All are welcome of course, not just families! But we hope it will be a lovely day of community activity, fostered by buns, cakes and scones to help things along; and a glass of something bubbly to round it off! Please click here for more info and to register.

Their next evening talk on Caravaggio, Communicating the Invisible, will be on Thursday 20th March at 7:30pm. Please click here for more information.

Posted in Stonyhurst

ECHA Newsletter for December 2019

Please click on the link  below to read our latest newsletter

2019 Sept-December Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters

Father Brian Doolan RIP

It was with great sadness that we heard recently of the death of Father Brian Doolan, who was our Chairman for many years.  His funeral arrangements have been announced by the Archdiocese of Birmingham and details can be found on this link:

May he Rest In Peace

Posted in Uncategorized

Gresham College Lecture – How the English learned to hate Catholics by Professor Alec Ryrie

To read the text of Professor Ryrie’s recent lecture go to the link below:

Click to access 2019-11-20_AlecRyrie_EnglishCatholics-T.pdf

Posted in English Catholic History | Tagged

Origins of Anti-Catholicism – lecture at the Museum of London, 20 November, 6pm

A Free Lecture:

The origins of Anti-Catholicism by Alec Ryrie, Gresham Professor of Divinity

Alec Ryrie is a Professor in the History of Christianity at Durham University. He’s a superb speaker and his previous series on Extreme Christianity and Atheism have been very illuminating.

How The English Learned to Hate Catholics
Weds 20 November, 6pm-7pm
Museum of London
Professor Alec Ryrie

Medieval England was proudly Catholic and ostentatiously loyal to Rome. But from the late sixteenth century until recent times – and even now – anti-Catholic prejudice has been a cornerstone of English and British identity.

This lecture will look at how this prejudice grew out of the persecution of Protestants in the 1550s, at the idealistic historian who crystallised it, and at the political crises, real and invented, which turned his text into a paranoiacs’ charter.

Gresham College has been providing free public lectures since 1597. You can read more about our history here. This lecture, like most of ours, is open to the public on a first come first served basis, but we can book seats for schools/ colleges for all our lectures.

Posted in English Catholic History

ECHA AGM and Day Conference Saturday 19 October 2019, St Monica’s Catholic Church, Hoxton, London N6 1NT.

Please join us:

1.30pm AGM

2.30pm Sheepfolds for Strayed Sheep – Catholic mission in 19th century Inner London – a talk by Jean Maynard followed by tea and a tour of the church.

Admission £5 on the door.

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk by Prof. Eamon Duffy on Cardinal Pole

Our readers might like to listen to this excellent address by Professor Eamon Duffy on Cardinal Reginald Pole given to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham during a recent pilgrimage to Canterbury:

Cardinal Reginald Pole: A Counter-Reformation Prince in Reformation England by Professor Eamon Duffy

Posted in English Catholic History, Henry VIII | Tagged , ,

Saint John Henry Newman – Doctor of the Church? by Fr Marcus Holden

ECHA Podcast Artwork v2“The spiritual guide, the apologist, the modern visionary, the antidote to liberalism, the defender of conscience, the man who never sinned against the light – these are the reasons why Newman should be considered a Doctor of the Church.”  Blessed John Henry Newman will be canonised by Pope Francis on 13 October 2019. This splendidly clear and informative talk by Fr Marcus Holden comes therefore at an apt moment in the life of the English Church.

Click on the arrow to listen to this talk or go to the image above to find the talk in our free iTunes podcast    

Posted in Catholic revival, Conferences, ECHA Podcast, English Catholic History | Tagged , ,