Centenary of the Laying of St. Chad's Foundation Stone
Front Our Own Correspond( n
This Sunday marks the centenary of the laying of the foundation stone of St. Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham, for it was on October 29, 1839, that the ceremony was performed by Bishop Walsh, Vicar Apostolic of the then Midland District.
It is customary for the members on this feast of Christ the King to gather in the Town Hall, where annually, for some years, the occasion has been marked by a speech from some notable Catholic on a topic uppermost in Catholic minds. The Lord Mayor has usually been present to receive the greetings of the Catholics of the area, but this year the time is for silent gathering, though there is a spiritual happiness in the fact that the date synchronises with an outstanding anniversary in the history of the Church in the Midlands.
A SOUVENIR As a souvenir the Administrator of the Cathedral (the Very Rev. Canon John Roskell) has written a most Interesting booklet, a copy of which will be presented to each man attending the service on Sunday afternoon. It is an informative compression of Catholic history in Birmingham from the days of Edward the Confessor (1042-1066), and in delving into the past Canon Roskell has given an illuminating survey of Catholic building in the Midland city.
The Cathedral was consecrated on June 21, 1841, and to prepare for this great anniversary necessary renovations are now being made. But, so that the anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone a century ago may be observed in the right atmosphere, much of the scaffolding will have been removed for Sunday to disclose what already nas been done to beautify the Archdiocese's spiritual home.
ORIGINAL DESIGN People will be able to see the decoration of the roof, a reproduction of the original design of Augustin Weiby Pugin, who was so proud to have built the first cathedral in England in postReformation times. They will also note the new benches in the nave, made from the designs of E. Pypet and George Drysdale, and containing Papal arms end those of Archbishops.
The spiritual rally in the afternoon will commence at 3.30, when, following His Grace's address, Pontifical Benediction will be given by the Rt. Rev, Mgr. Canon C. A. Wheatley, Protonotary Apostolic, the oldest ordained priest in the Archdiocese, and the spiritual director of the C.Y.M.S. in the area.
There will be High Mass at 11 a.m., and Vespers and Benediction at 5.30. At both these services special sermons are to be preached by the Very Rev. W. Canon Buscot.