AN OPEN air anniversary Mass to honour the benefactor who donated the land on which Clitheroe’s St Michael and St John’s RC Church is built will be held on Sunday, July 3rd.
Thomas Weld (1750-1810), was a wealthy and influential Catholic man, who showed great charity to the many refugees who had fled to England during the French Revolution.
Amongst his many acts of kindness, Mr Weld donated Stonyhurst College to the exiled Jesuits and in 1798 he wrote a letter to the Rector of Stonyhurst College saying “I shall certainly be very happy to give the ground where on to build the chapel at Clitheroe, upon condition of a perpetual anniversary Mass for both Mrs Weld and myself after our decease”.
From this act of generosity, St Michael and St John’s RC Church was built on its current site in Lowergate, Clitheroe. Unfortunately, through the mists of time, the condition of an anniversary Mass has been forgotten, until recently when Monsignor John Corcoran discovered the letter and decided to reintroduce the celebration.
In order to honour the gift of Thomas Weld, an open-air Mass will be held in the grounds of the church, at 10-30 a.m. on Sunday. This will be followed by a family picnic event with complimentary glass of wine.
Monsignor Corcoran extends an invitation to parishioners old and new to take the opportunity to celebrate with them on this special day.