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

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

Altar Serving at Weekday Mass

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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There are historical references to the burial of Fr George Leo Haydock being within our church building.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