St Wulstan’s, Alston

Many thanks for the warm welcome given to Bishop Paul on his visit last Saturday for the Feast of St Wulstan and to all who participated in the Mass and to those who provided the lovely refreshments. The Bishop enjoyed his visit very much.

Below is the text from the tablet marking the dedication of the church, over 65 years ago:


To the Glory of God

This Church

Founded by Thomas Edward Bishop of Lancaster

Was dedicated on 20 September 1953

Under the patronage of St Wulstan

In Memory of Thomas Wulstan OSB

First Bishop of Lancaster

who raised his eyes to the eternal hills

Castlerigg Connections

This year as a Youth Service we are celebrating 50 Years at Castlerigg. As part of our celebration we are producing a book named 'Memories of Castlerigg'. If you have been to Castlerigg Manor on retreat, visited with family, or worked here for any period of time, we want to hear your stories. Your story can be something funny, something profound, stories of meeting your partner or finding your vocation. Whatever it is, we want to hear about it.


Please send us an email:

Confirmation 2019


This began on Tuesday 29 January with the first session for candidates in the Haydock Centre 6.30-7.30pm. Over 12 young parishioners have asked to prepare for the sacrament. We are particularly grateful to the adults who are accompanying them on this important stage in their faith journey. Confirmation will be celebrated by Bishop Paul in St. Catherine’s on Tuesday 11 June 2019 at 6pm.

Please keep the candidates and catechists in your prayers.

Parish Records


For many years St Catherine's rectory has housed the archives of our church and school. Consisting of record books, correspondence etc., these archives go back to the earliest days of our community, in the days of Rev. George Leo Haydock (d. 1849). These records have been used by researchers and by visitors enquiring into family history. It has now become clear, however, that from the point of view of security and conservation storing these materials in the rectory is no longer a satisfactory arrangement. Therefore, it has been decided, with the approval of the diocesan authorities, to transfer this archive to the Cumbria Archive Service, Petteril Bank, Carlisle, where they will receive professional curation and be available for historical research. Record material of recent date is exempt from the transfer. The parish retains ultimate ownership of all the material in question. Queries concerning these arrangements can be directed to Lorna Mullett, Michael Mullett or Peter Roebuck.

My thanks to our parish historians for all their knowledge, care and interest with the above. Fr. John

Courses at Boarbank Hall, Grange over Sands


Among the courses on offer this year is a weekend (21-23/24 June) ‘Discovering John Bradburne’. The son of an Anglican vicar at Skirwith in our parish, John was a Franciscan tertiary also a poet, musician, and mystic. He ended his life caring for lepers in Zimbabwe and is believed by many to be a saint. Topics for the talks will include: John Bradburne’s life; the poetry of nature and prayer; the magic of bees. For this and other courses at Boarbank click here or see the flyers in the narthex.

Fire Escape Doorway


A Fire Risk Assessment has been carried out of the Church and Presbytery. This identified the need for a fire escape doorway at the South end of the church. A new door is planned in the South-West wall of the transept between the Lady altar and the stained glass window. The doorway will have an oak door with dressed stone cill and lintels.

Confirmation has been received from the Diocesan Property Office that the Property Office and Finance Committee have voted unanimously to approve our application to install the fire exit door from Our Lady’s Chapel to the rear car park. It is planned to start work later this month. Alan Catterson

The Guild of St Stephen - Altar Servers


Our thanks and congratulations to the 13 altar servers enrolled into the Guild at both Masses last Sunday. We also have a good number of servers recently started and we look forward to their enrolment in due course.

On 19th October St Catherine’s Parish received its Diploma of Affiliation to the Archconfraternity of St Stephen signed by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

On Sunday 30th December our longer serving Altar Servers were enrolled into the guild. Other Altar Servers who are new and still in training will be enrolled when at least six months serving has been completed.

The three aims of the guild are:

  1. To encourage, positively and practically, the highest standards of serving at the Church’s Liturgy.

  2. To provide Altar Servers with greater understanding of what they are doing.

  3. To unite Altar Servers of different parishes and diocese for mutual support.

St Stephen, Deacon and Martyr, Patron of Altar Servers: Pray for us

Servers Albs - As we approach Christmas it would be good to have the Altar Servers’ Albs nice and clean. Are there a couple of the parents who could take on this task please? Contact David or Mervyn.

Altar Serving at Weekday Mass

keep calm.jpg

It would be a great help if the current adult servers could form a regular rota to set up for and serve the Masses from Tues-Sat. Not all days are covered at present. The preparation of church before Mass would leave Fr. John free for his own personal preparation.

If you can help, please sign the list in the sacristy or speak to Fr. John or Mervyn Edwards. New servers are welcome.

Thank you.

The burial place of George Leo Haydock, parish priest of St Catherine’s


There are historical references to the burial of Fr George Leo Haydock being within our church building. Though not our first parish priest Fr Haydock was not only responsible for the financing and erection of its building but was a man of some standing in Penrith, among other things he quelled a major riot between hundred of workers about to take place outside the town. He also annotated and, with his brother, edited what is now known as The Haydock Bible, a copy of which was used by president John F Kennedy for the swearing in of his presidency; another copy of which is on display in our church. A Texan, Mr Sidney Ohlhausen, who has made a life long study of the Haydock brothers, recently financed a radar-penetrating survey of the floor of St Catherine's to see if we can locate the burial place of this famous parish priest of ours.

We now have the report of the geophysical survey undertaken on 5th September to investigate the possibility that Fr George Leo Haydock is buried somewhere in the church. The report is lengthy and highly technical and on the nature of the geophysical evidence adduced it does not give a definitive or conclusive verdict on the possibility of the burial. Michael Mullett