St Edmund's College, Ware

Tuesday 24th April 2018
St Edmunds Ware
St Edmund's College, Ware

On a beautiful sunny day, we headed off to St Edmund’s College in Ware to enjoy a fascinating guided tour of the College and CDeaf Community and Fr Norbert, St Edmund'shapel by the headmaster, Mr Durán.  Our group, led by Fr Norbert Fernandes, was made up of parishioners from Welwyn Garden City including some people who were received into the Catholic church at Easter and members of the Deaf Community. 

The school, which dates from 1568, was set up by Cardinal William Allen, is the oldest Catholic school in England.  Originally based in Douai it was set up at a seminary to train men for the priesthood.  It moved to its present location at Old Hall Green in 1793.  Up until 1975 it was both a seminary and a school with the seminary moving to Allen Hall, Chelsea that year to allow the school to expand.  In 1986 it became fully co-education.

In 1844, Bishop Thomas Griffiths an old scholar and previous President of the College, commissioned Augustus Welby Pugin to draw plans for a Chapel.  Although both the Bishop and Pugin died before it was completed, the Chapel is a beautiful work of art with a magnificent Rood screen.  Built in Gothic style it is a double screen with seven graceful arches with intricately decorated quatre-foil medallions.  The Rood is made of Riga wood with a painted pinewood figure of Our Lord.  In the cloisters there are the graves of many associated with the College included six of the Vicars Apostolic, with two more in the Chapel itself, these men who dedicated their lives to keeping the Catholic faith alive in England at a difficult time.

We were made so welcome at the College and were privileged to see some of the treasures of silver, ancient bibles and striking vestments. After some delicious refreshments we finished our afternoon in the Chapel with a time of prayer.

Our grateful thanks to all those involved who made it such an interesting day.

Chapel, St Edmund's, WareRood Screen St Edmund's CollegeDeaf Choir St Edmund's Ware

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