Visit to Holme Cultram Abbey Church of St Mary
Tuesday 15th August 2017
Some 54 people, mainly from our congregation but also with a few guests from other local Churches, travelled by coach to Holme Cultram, which is situated in the village of Abbeytown in the north-west of Cumbria. After a pleasant drive of just under two hours we arrived at St Mary’s Church to a very warm welcome by the Rev’d Canon Bryan Rothwell and members of his congregation.
This very striking and unusual Church is of particular interest for a number of reasons. It has had a long and turbulent history, it is a Grade 1 listed building which has been considerably restored in recent years, and most importantly for us it is the home Church of our Curate Andrew, where he grew up and developed his Christian faith.
After a short introduction to the Church and its history by the Rev’d Rothwell, we had the opportunity to explore the Church for a few minutes before lunch.
After lunch we were treated to a very special Eucharist. It was special because it was the feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary where we celebrated her love, care and support for Jesus throughout his whole life and where we were actually in St Mary’s Church. It was also special because it was the first time Andrew had taken a Eucharist in his home Church. In fact the service was something of a Norman family affair. Andrew led the service, his sister Sarah read the first lesson and his mum Anita officiated with the chalice, while in the congregation were his father and grandparents.
After the service we thanked our hosts over tea or coffee accompanied by a selection of scrumptious cakes.
We reluctantly left for home somewhat later than planned and everyone agreed that this had been a wonderful, unique visit which we all enjoyed immensely.
Our thanks go out to our friends at St Mary’s and to Andrew and to Christine for their hard work in organising such an interesting and enjoyable visit.