On Saturday, July 21st, at 12 noon, we will be celebrating our annual Founders' Day Requiem Mass for John and Josephine Bowes. It is true that our church of St Mary's here in Barnard Castle is not exactly the church which John had envisaged. Josephine, his wife, had already died when he decided to continue to build the church in her memory next to (what has become) the famous Bowes Museum; but when he ran out of money to finish the project, the church stood as a folly for about fifty years, until the money which he had left to the Church Trustees accumulated sufficiently for the then trustees to move the whole building to its present location. So the church as it is now is not what John had intended but the money was his gift. Hence our desire to honour them and pray for their souls.
The Mass will be sung by the Rudgate Singers with a choir augmented by the Ordinariate Choir. Mike, of the Rudgate Singers, sent me this message:
"Just a quick message to let you know that we believe it will
be the first time ever that the music we're planning on singing (Pearsall's
setting of the Requiem Mass) has been sung in its proper liturgical setting.
It's been performed in concerts, but not during Mass (in either form it
appears). Consequently we're getting quite excited by this - it's not every day
you get to sing in a world première liturgical performance - I just
hope that we do it justice and that people like it! We'll be joined on the day
by some singers from the Darlington Ordinariate Choir.
We would welcome anybody who wishes to come along to celebrate with us on July 21st, and weather permitting there will be refreshments on the lawn after Mass (otherwise huddled in the house!)