Friday 29 October 2010

Barney Life No. 20

Last Sunday, October 24th, (I know that I have been a bit slow in writing this!), the Trustees of the Bowes Memorial Church met together for their annual meeting.
I have mentioned before that this is the only parish church in the diocese which is not owned by the diocesan trustees but by a group of trustees originally set up by Josephine Bowes herself.  It was intended that the church would be built beside the museum which John was building, so that Josephine would have a personal church when she was living in the rooms to be built for her in the museum (John expected her to outlive him, since she was younger than him).  As it happened, Josephine died before the church was even begun, and John out of loyalty to her memory started to build the church.  Before he could finish, he ran out of money, and the church stood as a roofless folly for about fifty years, until the trustees of the church could raise enough money to finish the build on the new site at the corner of the museum park.
There are twelve trustees: six notable Catholics from the north-east, and six parishioners; all must be practising Catholics.  The chairman of the trustees is a member of the old Catholic family, the Salvins, while the treasurer is a direct descendant of one of the trustees appointed by Josephine Bowes.  As parish priest, I am not a trustee, but I liaise with the trustees on matters of the upkeep of the church, house and grounds.
I may have something further to add on this subject in a few days.

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