Welcome to the Christian Heritage Centre! Thanks to the generous support of donors, patrons and trustees, we are now able to begin offering a programme of intellectual and spiritual formation. Our activity is inspired by Stonyhurst College’s great collection that bears witness to some 600 years of Catholic life in Britain. Our mission is to teach and inspire today’s men and women with the living testimony of the great Catholic statesmen, clerics, lawyers, writers and many others who preceded us. They built our culture on the best of human thinking, enlightened and guided by Christianity. We firmly believe that this is the only effective way to an authentically human society.
On these pages, you will find information about the Trust, the Centre’s facilities, the collections of Stonyhurst College and some of the activities we are offering. We are more than happy to work with your particular group to provide a visit that is tailored to your specific needs. Please feel free to contact us using the enquiry form or contact details.
Stefan Kaminski – Director
It is with great sadness that we received news, earlier this week, of John Cowdall’s recent death. John had only just stepped down as Chairman of Trustees of The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst, five days before his passing. Although a considered decision, it was with regret that he had chosen to do so due to his slowly-worsening health. The frustration this caused him emphasised his dedication to the project and willingness to give it everything he could. Though he had been at the helm as chairman for less than a year, he was one of two founding trustees, alongside Lord Alton of Liverpool, at the charity’s inception several years before. With his store of practical experience in all things related to historic buildings, he was one of the mainstays in carrying forward the charity’s complete rebuilding of Stonyhurst College’s Old Mill. John’s willingness to drive forward a completely fresh project from scratch, with all its associated challenges, and to do so in succession to years of dedicated service and hard work as Stonyhurst College’s Chair of Governors, spoke of John’s generosity and tireless commitment. As a result of the creative partnership he forged with Lord Alton, John has left the charity a lasting legacy in Theodore House.
Although the challenges posed by his health, particularly an increasing fatigue in movement, had grown through his tenure as Chairman of the charity, he nonetheless persevered in regular, often impromptu, visits to Theodore House in order to support the staff and discuss progress. To those who knew John personally, his generosity did not cease with his work. His warmth and kindness extended to all those he met, often going out of his way to express this in unobtrusive ways. Above all, it was clear that John was motivated by a love for the Lord, and that his hope ultimately rested in Him who has now called John back to Himself.