Tuesday 28 September 2010

Ushaw College Photo Essay: Postscriptum (posted 26/06/2010)

This brings to an end my series of Ushaw College Photo Essays.  I have enjoyed writing these memories and visiting the past, and I hope that they have been of interest to my readers.  I wish to thank those who have encouraged me to write about Ushaw College in the late 'Forties and 'Fifties.  But now I think that perhaps it is time for some other elderly person to talk about those times to remind the modern generation that the Church before the Second Vatican Council was not dying but was vibrant and full of life, that the churches were packed and the charitable societies were very active.  If anyone wishes to comment or send me an email with their thoughts, I will be happy to publish it on this blog.


  1. I have enjoyed very much your recent reports on Ushaw past and present, but don't blame Vatican II for all because remember that every Christian denomination in the UK has suffered a huge drop in numbers since the 1960's in fact many Non- Conformist groups have suffered far more. Here in Wales RC is now one of the largest groups. derelict chapels litter the valleys.

  2. One of the Disenchanted28 September 2010 at 23:19

    Many reasons have been put forward for the decline but one thing is absolutely clear: Church attendance was rising in the late 50s and early 60s and more local churches were being built. The decline started when the 'experts' started tinkering with the liturgy and then ransacked beloved churches to make them more suitable for their wonderful new liturgy. Facts prove that people did not like the changes in their services and were aghast at the wanton destruction of beautiful sanctuaries to create big empty spaces for an equally empty liturgy.
    Also, in an attempt to create a one-size fits all liturgy that would be acceptable to every denomination, all they did was to alienate everybody. Catholics did not like their liturgy being anglicised, Anglicans did not like their liturgy being Romanised, and the Methodists and others also were deeply unhappy at the changes they had to endure. Throw into the mixture the happy clappy guitars and suchlike which was completely alien to British churchgoers and there was a recipe for complete disenchantment. Because many of the smaller chapels had smaller congregations it did not take long to reduce attendance to such a low level that many chapels became no longer viable.
    Millions have suffered at the hands of a relatively small number of 'world liturgy zealots' who wormed their way into positions of influence and became unchallengeable as they carried on their merry way. They were just like Mr Magoo, causing chaos everywhere but seemingly blissfully ignorant of the damage they were inflicting all around.